From Write Right Now. I am thinking we should probably read more of these books—lessons to be learned.
I’ve read just about everything Cormac McCarthy has published, but none of Cooper’s work—he hasn’t been a priority and may be less so after reading the above.
A list of the Top 40 Bad Books, from American Book Review, had some surprises for me: One critic called F. Scott Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby “incredibly smug,” and another referred to one of my favorite authors, Cormac McCarthy, as having written “a romance for men” with All the Pretty Horses (1992), part of his Border Trilogy. The woman who wrote the piece also refers to McCarthy as an “arrogant person” and adds: “He gives men a romanticized view of manliness. McCarthy wraps his characters in half-truths and idealized anecdotes, much like Jackie Collins does, only his are about the Lone Star State, the border, and its cowboy myths.” I think Ms. Christine Granados is the arrogant one.
Other critics pick on Jack Kerouac, D. H. Lawrence, Harriet Beecher Stowe, and one off-handedly refers to Hemingway’s The Sun Also Rises (1926), as “another book dangerously verging on being an NDK,” meaning a “Novel That Doesn’t Know.”
The piece is interesting reading nonetheless. And I know there are classic books that I didn’t like for one reason or another, e.g. Heart of Darkness. We all have different tastes.
One critic’s view of the “10 Essential Books from the Last 25 Years” can be found here. The comments to this link range from complaints to offering alternatives—creating such a list is bound to create controversy. A more easily accessible list of the selected books is below the fold..