Re: Am I the only one who found this stupid?

1

Yes, you're the only one.


Posted by: Standpipe Bridgeplate | Link to this comment | 11-12-07 12:49 PM
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The book by that name that won the Booker Prize? I'd always thought the Booker Prize was something of a joke, at least based on reading Angela Carter's and Doris Lessing's comments on it. Isn't McEwan...er, I dunno, pretentious isn't the right word....pseudo-profound, maybe? He's like some horrible fusion of Tom Wolfe with Peter Hoeg circa Borderliners.


Posted by: Frowner | Link to this comment | 11-12-07 12:52 PM
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3

Don't tease Labs, Frowner. Let him shiver in isolation.


Posted by: Standpipe Bridgeplate | Link to this comment | 11-12-07 12:53 PM
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4

I dug it. Although, yes, a lot of the more interesting meta-textual stuff in literature can be used by people who can't write a third act.

Novelists suffer from bad conscience.


Posted by: Wrongshore | Link to this comment | 11-12-07 1:00 PM
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5

Yeah, I went along with the end of Atonement, but this one seemed over the line.


Posted by: FL | Link to this comment | 11-12-07 1:01 PM
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6

Fuck your heterodox opinions!


Posted by: Standpipe Bridgeplate | Link to this comment | 11-12-07 1:01 PM
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7

Oh, right. I was getting them confused.


Posted by: Wrongshore | Link to this comment | 11-12-07 1:02 PM
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8

The end of Atonement was terrible, and obvious.


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 11-12-07 1:05 PM
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9

I bet Ian McEwan wrote Fafblog.


Posted by: FL | Link to this comment | 11-12-07 1:09 PM
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10

Gahh, I tried to read Atonement last spring, and couldn't make it through. I felt like he was trying to control every single detail of every single thing I might be imagining, and wanted to scream at him, Stop using so many adjectives!


Posted by: Blume | Link to this comment | 11-12-07 1:09 PM
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11

I stand by my 4 -- but we had this conversation last night.


Posted by: Wrongshore | Link to this comment | 11-12-07 1:09 PM
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12

I loathed Atonement sufficiently that I was not moved to read Amsterdam.


Posted by: redfoxtailshrub | Link to this comment | 11-12-07 1:11 PM
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13

That Saturday book was pretty terrible, too.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 11-12-07 1:12 PM
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14

I didn't finish Atonement either.


Posted by: I don't pay | Link to this comment | 11-12-07 1:13 PM
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15

I remember very little about Amsterdam except being irritated that I spent time reading it.


Posted by: Flippanter | Link to this comment | 11-12-07 1:15 PM
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16

Validation! I only tried to read Atonement because so many people rave about it.


Posted by: Blume | Link to this comment | 11-12-07 1:15 PM
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17

Fuck you people I respectfully disagree. Atonement was transcendent.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 11-12-07 1:15 PM
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18

The Concrete Garden is like nothing else. Grippingly horrifying. I listened to it on tape. Can't really say whether it was any good or bad, but gave me hours of consistent, clenching gaaaahh.


Posted by: Wrongshore | Link to this comment | 11-12-07 1:16 PM
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19

THIS WOULD BE MORE EFFICIENT IF WE ALL TALKED ABOUT AMSTERDAM.


Posted by: FL | Link to this comment | 11-12-07 1:17 PM
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20

Wow, I wondered if I should read Atonement because it seemed to be thought well of. That certainly answers that question!


Posted by: Witt | Link to this comment | 11-12-07 1:17 PM
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18: Which is just what one looks for in a novel. Me, I find that a visit to the abattoir does just about the same thing, and you can pick up half a pound of freshly-made sausage on your way out.


Posted by: Frowner | Link to this comment | 11-12-07 1:18 PM
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19: NO ONE'S READ IT AND YOUR POST ISN'T GOING TO CHANGE THAT.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 11-12-07 1:18 PM
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19: OPINIONATED LABS is trying to get all prescriptivist on us again.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 11-12-07 1:18 PM
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My implicit comment to Amsterdam is the same as rfts's 12.


Posted by: Blume | Link to this comment | 11-12-07 1:18 PM
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25

I actually liked much of Atonement.


Posted by: FL | Link to this comment | 11-12-07 1:23 PM
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26

The all-caps arms race has stalled out. Ogged, add blinking text as an html option so we can escalate some more.


Posted by: Wrongshore | Link to this comment | 11-12-07 1:24 PM
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I didn't know there was anyone else out there who didn't like Atonement. I no longer feel so alone.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 11-12-07 1:30 PM
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28

I liked the Gare d'Austerlitz.


Posted by: Jackmormon | Link to this comment | 11-12-07 1:35 PM
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29

I do not, however, like Paul Auster.


Posted by: Jackmormon | Link to this comment | 11-12-07 1:42 PM
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30

Austerlitz is my least favorite Sebald.


Posted by: Blume | Link to this comment | 11-12-07 1:43 PM
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31

Which is your favorite?


Posted by: Jackmormon | Link to this comment | 11-12-07 1:45 PM
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32

Australia is my least favorite antipode.


Posted by: Wrongshore | Link to this comment | 11-12-07 1:46 PM
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33

The Emigrants. The most subtle, and uses his word + image shtick less annoyingly than in some of his other books.


Posted by: Blume | Link to this comment | 11-12-07 1:47 PM
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34

Seybold is my least favorite technical conference host.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 11-12-07 1:48 PM
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35

Diebold is my least favorite manufacturer of evil voting machines.


Posted by: Wrongshore | Link to this comment | 11-12-07 1:49 PM
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36

29: Hooray! Why not? (To take all the fun and wit out of the thread, I will now ask a serious question)


Posted by: Frowner | Link to this comment | 11-12-07 1:51 PM
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37

What about Titanic? Anyone like that film? Boats are fun.


Posted by: Gonerill | Link to this comment | 11-12-07 1:53 PM
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38

Why not?

Because I don't need demonstrations to enjoy narrative semiotics.


Posted by: Jackmormon | Link to this comment | 11-12-07 1:54 PM
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39

I have a similar question. If I generally get pissed off at the forced cleverness of both metatextual books and campus novels, and yet I thoroughly enjoyed this novel, am I an idiot?


Posted by: Cryptic Ned | Link to this comment | 11-12-07 2:42 PM
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40

18 gets it right.

I had a high school English class that included two strange novels of teen and preteen sexuality set in 1980s Britain - The Cement GArden and Graham Swift's Waterland. I liked them both. Then came I to looking for other books by those authors, and I find that those novels are supposed to be wildly unrepresentative of their work, so I'm stuck.


Posted by: Cryptic Ned | Link to this comment | 11-12-07 2:44 PM
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41

I'm surprised people have such strong opinions about Amsterdam. I found it helpful and easy to use.

Sure, the plot was nonexistent, but I don't think you should hold that against it.

And I'm not sure why you would bring up McEwan....
are we talking about the same book?


Posted by: feldspar | Link to this comment | 11-12-07 2:47 PM
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42

My mom just gave me a book called Photography after Sebald.

I like The Rings of Saturn because it has a higher Thomas Browne content than any of his other books that I've read, unless it doesn't.


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 11-12-07 3:18 PM
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43

The walking-tour conceit of Rings of Saturn maybe made it work best for me ... it's the one I give people when I'm trying to Sebald them.

I read McEwan's The Comfort of Strangers a while back, and it was a disturbing little book. But this is back when "disturbing" wasn't so cliched.

(Will people who omit accents in foreign words when writing blog comments be up against the wall when the revolution come, or will they be doing the shooting? Because I really need to know.)


Posted by: Anderson | Link to this comment | 11-12-07 4:19 PM
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44

I really liked Atonement. Saturday I found embarrassingly awful.


Posted by: Invisible Adjunct | Link to this comment | 11-12-07 5:42 PM
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45

43: Wall.


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 11-12-07 7:16 PM
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46

For no particular reason I have memorized the first line of Die Ringe des Saturn.


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 11-12-07 7:17 PM
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47

43, 44 -- I'm with IA on this. I liked Atonement, hated Saturday. Comfort of Strangers was also made into a very good movie, including the best performance from Christopher Walken that I have ever seen. Oh, and Enduring Love has one of the most memorable opening chapters you will ever read.

But this makes me realize that I've never read Amsterdam.


Posted by: cdm | Link to this comment | 11-12-07 8:02 PM
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48

Didn't miss anything; It's shit with its lazy stereotype of the Netherlands as a country in which it's possible to get somebody legally euthanised in an afternoon. And this is supposed to be one of the best contemporary British writers?


Posted by: Martin Wisse | Link to this comment | 11-13-07 1:58 AM
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49

Enduring Love, however, rocks.


Posted by: Alex | Link to this comment | 11-13-07 8:18 AM
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50

48: Yes, when I'm passing through the Netherlands and need to euthanize someone, I always go in on swing shift (but not on a Friday, of course. )


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 11-13-07 7:36 PM
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