The Time Traveler’s Wife, page 48 [trade paper edition]:
We have a long afternoon and evening to frivol as we will […]
What? The? Fuck?
This is a male character saying that. A straight male character.
Have any of you ever heard a man — straight or gay — use the word frivol?!!?
In the thousands and thousands of books I’ve read, this is my first encounter with that word. And that, you-may-teach-but-you-can’t-fucking-write-Audrey, is not a compliment.
It sent me scrambling through my tons of back email and then Google to find a brilliant essay that encapsulates why I automatically flee from anything that screams “National Best-Seller” on its fucking cover.
The brilliant eassy: A Reader’s Manifesto by B. R. Myers. And this is its opening paragraph:
Nothing gives me the feeling of having been born several decades too late quite like the modern “literary” best seller. Give me a time-tested masterpiece or what critics patronizingly call a fun read—Sister Carrie or just plain Carrie. Give me anything, in fact, as long as it doesn’t have a recent prize jury’s seal of approval on the front and a clutch of precious raves on the back. In the bookstore I’ll sometimes sample what all the fuss is about, but one glance at the affected prose—”furious dabs of tulips stuttering,” say, or “in the dark before the day yet was”—and I’m hightailing it to the friendly black spines of the Penguin Classics.
The Time Traveler’s Wife is a piece of shit. I’ve waded through 102 pages of this goddammed thing waiting for something other than the alleged writer’s hubris to happen — and nothing has.
I will no longer inflict this torment upon myself.
Those of you who read the whole thing: you’re out of your fucking minds.
[…] Here, by the way, was my reaction to a book just about universally praised, The Time Traveler’s Wife. My post title says it all, really: This Manuscript Should Have Never Been Published. It Should Have Been Shot To Death. […]