Hatchet Job of the Day
This doesn’t quite count as a hatchet job, but Keith Miller’s cool assessment in the Telegraph of William Boyd’s writing isn’t exactly flattering:
I’m often reminded of Kipling’s words when I hear books being described as “reads”. The term is meant to suggest a certain frictionless pleasure; it is offered up in apparently unalloyed praise for a book’s sleek marketability. But it sounds oddly discourteous to me, like the Irish locution “ride” to denote an attractive person of the opposite sex. And can you really have pleasure without a bit of friction? Don’t we want the books we read to rub off a little in the reading, to leave some spoor or spraint of memory or disquiet behind?
William Boyd writes “reads”. He is also widely praised as a “master storyteller”, as if there were some Storyteller’s Guild still up and running somewhere in the City and he’d spent the requisite decade apprenticed to it.
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