Friday, April 18, 2008

The Ancient Mariner on alcopops

I am not especially likely to write negative reviews here at Light Reading--when I'm reading a book I don't like, I mostly just stop reading, and I privately (for myself more than for others, it is a question of what suits me rather than a general rule) feel that writing very negative reviews is bad for the soul!

(Now and again I write something negative about a book that seems to me to have garnered far too much positive attention--the motivation in this case is a kind of Emperor's-New-Clothes or setting-the-record-straight one. Often I feel after the fact that I was too judgmental, and that I would rather not have gone on the record with it--though I am still mildly regretful that I never wrote down my passionate diatribe against Mark Danielewski's books...)

Meanwhile, I do enjoy reading very scathing reviews by intelligent reviewers who are so irked by the book at hand that they cannot restrain their irritation, and Hilary Mantel has a rather good one in this vein at the Guardian this week...


  1. "The Ancient Mariner on alcopops" may be my new favorite phrase. It's perfect.

  2. Yes, and think of how adaptable--like if I am going on too long about triathlon-related things I would be the Ancient Mariner on Clif Bloks!