I was just eating lunch and browsing the internet, and came upon an interesting blog entry by Charles Stross, a British Horror/Science Fiction/Fantasy/Smorgasbord writer. This article discusses some interesting points of view about certain books. For instance,
Romeo and Juliet by William Shakespeare:
Son of Sammy wrote: “i just read this book. everybody like always talks about how great it is and everything. but i don’t think so. like, it’s been done before, right?? soooo cliched. omg.”
Some commenters hoped that this was a parody. However, here is another one that they wanted to disniss but couldn’t
L. Wright “Musett
e Wright” wrote (apropos Romeo and Juliet):
Not that I don’t like Shakespeare’s works, but his tragedies are terrible, especially this one. I can’t understand the language real well, so I have to grab one with the contemporary language so that it’ll be easier to understand. I just can’t understand this love tragedy at all! Here are some things that confuse me:
*How did this feud really begin?
*Why can’t this story end in happily ever after?
*Why does Lady Capulet have to be so stuck up on everybody?
*Why couldn’t Shakespeare have written in a language we could all understand?
*Why does everybody have to jump to conclusions?
I simply can’t understand why people love this play so much. It’s ridiculous! If you want a true love story, try reading “A Midsummer Night’s Dream”. This one absolutely SUCKS!!!!!!!!!!!!!
The second and fourth questions were the most surrealistic for me. The answer to the second is painfully obvious, and the answer to the fourth is just as obvious. He did write so that people could understand him, in plain yet beautiful phrases.
The Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck:
Jef4Jesus wrote: “So, I’m only on page 478 of 619, but I’ve been disgusted at the amount of profanity. So far I’ve found more than 500 uses of profanity! On average every page (with relatively big writing, even) has more than one swear. Yikes! I’m never going to read Grapes of Wrath again, and won’t be recommending it to anyone. If you don’t like profanity, be careful.”
M. Landis wrote: “This book was 600 pages written purly about a bunch of hicks from Oklahoma starving. Thanks, but no thanks.”
The remarks by Landis were condescending, elitist, and uncaring, and all within a single sentence. He gets high marks for efficiency at denigrating people who were almost destroyed by forces outside their control.
The first sentence of the following review really caught my attention.
Do not, if you value your sanity, try this experiment on The Bible. This is one of the better ones:
I feel that this book started out well but lacked something of an ending. The writing styles change intermittedly and seem to lack something of a finesse, blatantly stating things that cannot be taken literally or figuratively well enough to purvey a superior understanding of the text. I found it about as entertaining as flipping through a T.V. guide but not owning a T.V. seeing all the shows that you could be watching explained in a summerized detail that never quite lets you know what it’s really all about. A true literary flop.
If the book had the predicted ending, I doubt he have been able to make that comment. On the second point, he should give a little latitude to the fact that maintaininhis is assuming that the critic reads and understandg a consistent style over thousands of years and a number of translations by the Jews, then the Greeks, then the Romans, then Middle English, and finally Modern English. This is assuming that the critic reads and understands Modern English. Also, while there was obviously a bit of ghostwriting going on, the ghostwriter had to work through a lot of people, some eloquent, and some less so.
Anyway, the comments generated were as funny and interesting as the original entry.