Critical Linking: May 23, 2012

Nevertheless, if you believe, as many Americans have since the days of the Puritans, that books ought to morally improve their readers, then maybe there’s a place for a little judicious whitewashing in the writing and publication of fiction.

Awesome. Giant companies deciding how to improve me morally. This always ends well, right?


One Saturday night my search alert on Twitter lit up, and I found a male nurse from Bury raving about my book. I started chatting to him, and he showered me with praise and said he was going tell everyone he knew to read my book. That’s the kind of positive review which stays with you.

I think maybe we should be talking about having search alerts on Twitter set up for you and your book before we get to this whole Amazon/newspaper review thing.


In part, it seems that big now equates with importance and value. That substitutes form for function, and frequently evidences a writer’s ego—or perhaps an editor’s laziness—and indifference to a reader’s limited time and attention.

I always forget how short Moby Dick, Don Quixote, War and Peace, and David Copperfield are. Damn this new trend of long fiction!


In case there was any doubt about the blockbuster success of the “Fifty Shades of Grey” trilogy by E L James, the numbers are in: more than 10 million copies of the books have been sold in the United States in six weeks, the publisher said on Tuesday, putting the books among some of the best-selling series in modern publishing.

10 million copies. In six weeks. Holy &*%@

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