Jorpho wrote:The Outsiders?
*twitch* yeah, that one. i guess my objections there were personal and nothing to do with hinton at all. i can't stand that entire teenage-angst genre of books. the only thing i can think of that's worse than being a teenager in the first place, is being one and having adults impose stuff on you that they think 'speaks to' your phase of life. oh no, i'm wrong . . . and then having to talk (/write/think) about it.
Ahh, Richler. I had to write an essay on Barney's Version and was quite frustrated in attempting to come up with something profound to say about something so inherently enjoyable.
i don't know if i think there was anything all that profound in barney. i just read it a few months ago and it seemed to me like a fairly typical kind of end-of-the-writer's-life book. not that i mean to imply that richler wouldn't have written anything more if he hadn't died. but it does seem to happen a lot. i've been noticing it all over the place, especially with those big Monolith Of Modern North American Lit kinds of guys (yeah, i know. maybe not deep, deep
north american lit) . . . john irving and robertson davies both come to my mind. paul theroux, in a way (he seems to me like he hasn't given up, but he lost the plot with millroy the magician and he's been clutching all over the place ever since then). margaret drabble, now that i think about it.
i'm finding i'll read all of whatever somebody wrote, and then somewhere in there they'll write the one that i just can't be bothered to read. and then after that they don't always write anything new that changes my mind. it's not that i get so disgusted with whatever they've said in that book that i repudiate them. they just start to seem genuinely not worth my time anymore. kind of a 'peak' sort of thing. i thought barney was that. a very good book in its own right, far better than most of them. but one of those all the same.
i kind of think duddy kravitz is a genuine, honest-to-god old-school tragedy. it's in my ten-most-important-books-ever list. barney is more like entertainment.