Friday, May 20, 2005
Fabulously Written Bullshit
Dear Mr. McEwan:
You are a tremendously gifted writer of unparalleled sensibilities, and an unrivalled prose stylist to boot. But this book is bullshit from the get-go, and you have to know it. Your main character (the controlling consciousness of Saturday} simply makes no sense. He hates reading poetry and yet makes nuanced and perceptive remarks about verse? He has never read more than 40 pages of What Maisie Knew and barely finished Daisy Miller and yet finds himself comparing Henry James' "fussiness" to William James' "knack of fixing on the surprising commonplace"? These are only small samplings of the incoherence of your creation.
Unfortunately I find myself pulled along by your sinuous, gorgeous sentences--without them I would have thrown this novel out the window yesterday. I'll go back and re-read the marvelous Atonement after this to make sure you are actually good at what you do. I suggest you do some atonement of your own.