« Pictures Worth 1,000 Words (or One Blog Post) | Main | Short Stuff »

July 15, 2012


Greg Daniel

Great post.

As a reader, I use to bounce back and forth regularly between litrachur and genre but as the former became more and more books about nothing and and on top of that the artiste would belabor the point about how it took them years and years of struggle to get the nothing down just right. I can't recall who, but someone wiser than I said that all writing is character driven, but at least in genre fiction they drive somewhere.

Good shout out on Craig McDonald's HEAD GAMES. I just recommended it over at www.newpulpfiction.com

Greg Daniel

Hmm ... guess I really should utilize that preview feature after all ;-) ... cut out the repeated "AND" before "on top" and then after "down just right" add "I have decided to read good stories as opposed to 'important' books." ... and I make slightly more sense.

John Purcell

Does this mean I can now delete my digital copy of Freedom I stole off the Internet? The one I never read?


Thanks, Greg! Love the quote about character-driven fiction needing to actually go somewhere. Guess one of us should Google that sucker and see who said it first. Or we could just pretend it was one of us....

You've just put your finger on the problem with ebooks, John: You can't even use them to prop open doors. You also can't leave them out on coffee tables to fool people into thinking you're hip.

An idea that should make me a million bucks: an app that, with one touch, substitutes whatever you're reading on your Kindle with Freedom. That way when someone tries to peek over your shoulder, you'll have just enough time to swap Jonathan Franzen for 50 Shades of Grey.

Esri Allbritten

Four stars for your Dr. Seuss bit.

Greg Daniel

Steve, for 2 bits I will sell you half interest in the quote and we can take turns being someone wiser than I. If you really want to make a million bucks, forget the app and just write 50 Shades of Freedom.

Carolyn B

Yes! An artsy friend of mine gave me a copy of "The Corrections" for some reason, insisting that I MUST read it! I would love it! (I couldn't make it through the cover blurb.)

I also confuse Franzen with Frey. Have they both been on Oprah's couch or were they both married to Katie Holmes?


Thank you for the four stars, Esri
I appreciate the special...uhhhhh....

I was hoping to write my thank you in Seuss-verse, but unfortunately nothing rhymes with "Esri." Let me try again.

Thank you for the stars, Ms. Allbritten....

Oh, I give up.

Greg, have you checked out the Amazon bestseller list lately. I swear to god half the books are 50 Shades of *something*. So why not 50 Shades of Freedom? Or how about 50 Shades of Sherlock Holmes? I hear that Mrs. Hudson was a real vixen. Mrrrow!

It's understandable that you'd confuse Franzen and Frey, Carolyn. Frey wrote a memoir about how he was a heroin-addicted gigolo with Alzheimer's, but it was later revealed that no "James Frey" even existed: It was just Jonathan Franzen's alter ego. Then Franzen married Kate Holmes and gave everyone in the greater Chicago area a brand new car. Or something like that....

Jonathan Turner

Steve, you are the wind beneath my wings. Well, you and Michael Chabon, who's also written trenchantly on the subject. I trust you don't mind being lumped in with him.

I was ruined to Serious Literature, in part, by a virulent case of John Steinbeck at an impressionable age. (Needless to say, it was not my idea.) I subsequently summed up the Steinbeck Ur-Novel thus:

1. Miserable people have ghastly depressing lives.
2. Someone decides to try to make things better.
3. It all goes horribly wrong, and it was probably a bad idea to even try.
4. Everyone ends up even more miserable with even worse lives; it would have been better if they'd just all killed themselves on page 3.

The weed of Literature bears bitter fruit. Sounds like Frantzen has supped heartily on it.


If I'm the wind beneath your wings, Jonathan, then you are my sunshine, my only sunshine. Your Steinbeck Reading Guide could apply to much "great" "literature." (Though I will say I liked Tortilla Flats and Travels with Charley just fine. Probably because the literati wouldn't consider them sufficiently lugubrious to be great.) Who knows what evil lurks in the hearts of men? I'm not sure, but Steinbeck surely thought he did...and now it's Franzen's turn.

Verify your Comment

Previewing your Comment

This is only a preview. Your comment has not yet been posted.

Your comment could not be posted. Error type:
Your comment has been posted. Post another comment

The letters and numbers you entered did not match the image. Please try again.

As a final step before posting your comment, enter the letters and numbers you see in the image below. This prevents automated programs from posting comments.

Having trouble reading this image? View an alternate.


Post a comment

Your Information

(Name is required. Email address will not be displayed with the comment.)

Bookmark and Share
Blog powered by Typepad
Member since 01/2006