Saturday, September 26, 2009

Assembly-Line Fiction

The news that Dan Brown's latest book-shaped object (BSO) sold more than a million copies its first day in the stores made me want to write about what I've come to think of as assembly-line fiction.

And then, at the barbershop this morning, I came across this by Benjamin Alsup in the June 11 issue of Esquire. It says it far better than I could.

Here's how Alsup begins: "I've never read a novel by Nicholas Sparks for the same reason I've never seen a movie starring Ashton Kutcher: because I'm stupid, yeah, but I'm not that stupid."

Alsup didn't read Dan Brown's The Lost Symbol, but he did read three BSOs--excuse me, books--by Dean Koontz, Harlan Coben, and David Baldacci. His devastating conclusion:

"It seems it's widely considered bad form to call stupid things stupid. But that's mostly what these books are. They'll cost you $25 a pop, waste a half day of your life, and leave you neither smarter nor happier, just kind of bored and a little depressed. That's no way to spend a summer. Screw these books. Take a walk."

Or read a real book.

1 comment:

Rachel said...

I wish I had found this post before my book club decided to read The Gift by Richard Paul Evans. I think it may have started life as a Lifetime movie script. Talk about a waste of a Christmas vacation!