The Rhodes Not Taken (with Ian McEwen)

Wandering through "Teh interWebs" I encountered this piece of brutally honest reflective writing/lit crit:

On Chesil Beach by Ian McEwan.
Sometimes it helps to read a book that is relentlessly terrible. It’s energising to have something to fight against, and knowing you aren’t the worst writer in the world can lift the spirits. This book is a pile of dog’s mess. The ‘themes’ aren’t so much spoon-fed to the reader as bellowed at them with a loud hailer, the characters are dull people dismally written, their world is devoid of even the possibility of humour, and don’t get me started on the spunking scene… or the ending, for that matter — the main character’s life turns out so unsatisfactory that he ends up owning only a share of a house in France, unlike McEwan, who owns a whole house in France. Holy smoke this is a bad read. But what really makes me angry isn’t so much the book itself, it’s the way the literary establishment queued up to kiss its dreary arse. “Oh Florence.” “Oh Edward.” This book is the enemy.

I have a strange suspicion I might like Dan Rhodes. I think I might even buy one of his books. (And yes, I also felt thoroughly exasperated by the dreadfulness of On Chesil beach and dismayed at the lit establishment lapping it up... Could you have guessed that?...)


Poet Laureate Carol Ann Duffy writes for injured David Beckham -

Let's face it, the Achilles myth is just too tempting to use...