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July 26, 2004

Taking a Page from the Dale Peck Playbook

by Ron Hogan

Here's an example of the different guidelines various publications have towards book reviewing. An anonymous scribe for Publishers Weekly says A Movie...and a Book author Dennis Wagner is "a good observer of domestic and emotional detail, which will serve him well when he gets past tail-chasing why-we-write conceits and decides to tell a story straight." Over at Slate, meanwhile, Aleksandar Hemon calls the debut novel "the worst book I have ever voluntarily read."

And that's when he's being gentle. Hemon doesn't just hate the book, but the very idea of the book...and quite possibly the publisher for putting it out. Seriously, I haven't seen a review this hostile since Harlan Ellison's The Glass Teat...and that's including the essays in Hatchet Job.


If this excerpt is indicative, I have to agree with Hemon as far as the quality of writing goes.

As for Wagner being the Fifth Horseman, I'll reserve judgment until the world actually ends.

Posted by: steve at July 26, 2004 09:21 PM

No wonder there's a decline in literary reading. Why read a book like that when you can just wait for the movie?

Posted by: Michael Dietsch at July 27, 2004 10:45 AM
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