Thursday, June 29, 2006

How far the mighty have fallen

  • John Updike's latest novel is getting really, really bad reviews.
Man, Updike's new one is getting raked over the coals. The latest bitch-slap comes courtesy of James Wood in The New Republic (via Powells):
What is most striking about this novel is that, despite Updike's massive familiarity with the technical challenges of fiction-writing--this is his twenty-second novel, for goodness sake--he proves himself relatively inept at the essential task of free indirect style, of trying to find an authorial voice for his Muslim schoolboy. He will begin a paragraph in his character's voice, and then, apparently losing any capacity for the necessary ventriloquism, decide utterly to write over his character.
I haven't read this one yet, and honestly, all the bad press kind of makes me want to read it, in that sadomasochistic, train-wreck rubbernecking fashion.

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