Monday, June 23, 2008

Great books I couldn't get through

I love these kinds of public admissions.

Andrew Holgate, The Sunday Times deputy literary editor

London Fields by Martin Amis; Almost everything that is wrong with Amis’s writing is here, in full-colour detail, in this overblown, self-regarding, sexist, appallingly snobbish novel. The preening, self-consciously hip mid-Atlantic drawl is bad enough, but what takes the breath away is the vitriolic portrait of British working-class life. You can feel his father’s prejudices seeping out of every sentence. Cartoonish, offensive and in the bin, I’m afraid.

I too loathed Amis's London Fields but adored his Time's Arrow. McCarthy's The Road is also at the top of my list of recent overrated books that I couldn't get through. Another on that list is Kazuo Isiguro's Never Let Me Go which I read to the end only because there wasn't much else to do while lying on a beach in Cuba and I'd already devoured the only other book I had with me J.M. Coetzee's wonderful Diary of a Bad Year.

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