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Started by RosyLovelady on Sep 15, 2017 12:34:09 PM
What rubbish are you reading?

A thread to admit that you read low-brow, sensationalist and/or otherwise deplorable books.

Rubbish recommendations welcome.

slimpickins - 30 Apr 2022 13:02:22 (#2081 of 2225)

Picked up the first Maigret, Pietr the Latvian and Len Deighton's Berlin Game, first in the Game, Set and Match trilogy, in the Audible 2-4-1 sale. I think I noticed Alan Moore's Jerusalem, that's 60hrs of listening for £4 and at that price worth having a punt on.

PoppySeedBagel - 30 Apr 2022 12:45:21 (#2082 of 2225)

It's astonishing (not) how keen men often are to state that gender isn't an issue.

It’s not gender, but sex…

airynothing - 30 Apr 2022 13:26:49 (#2083 of 2225)

Yes, thank you. I'm aware of the distinction.

TenGorillas - 30 Apr 2022 16:58:07 (#2084 of 2225)

I was reading a thing the other day about gender bias in kids' books. Male characters (animals, monsters etc included) are far more present and get far more speech, even in picture books for tiny kids.

LobsangRampa - 30 Apr 2022 18:59:39 (#2085 of 2225)

Kingsley Amis after reading one of Martin Amis's books. "I'm never going to read another novel that doesn't start with 'A shot rang out'".

Mrs Rampa used to waitress in a restaurant frequented by KA, Peregrine Worsthorne et al. She reckoned they were a right bunch of shits. Treated the staff like minions.

That said and done I don't think that a writer who can't do characters of both genders is necessarily a bad writer. When Hemingway is good, he's terrific.

I guess it's the gender bias that TG talks about that is the problem. Which is odd as publishing employs more women than men.

RosyLovelady - 30 Apr 2022 19:07:55 (#2086 of 2225)

I wonder if Martin Amis's famous American teeth turned out to be worth the outlay (and the mockery) or whether he's had to spend a further fortune on repairs and maintenance down the years.

limegreen - 30 Apr 2022 19:52:25 (#2087 of 2225)

https://www.theguardian.com/books/2021/may/16/how-women-conquered-the-world-of-fiction

This is the article I was thinking of. Analysis of male vs female characters not completed. I think it makes some interesting points. I definitely think there is a perception about literary fiction being female coded and wonder what that will do to its prestige. Because we know what tends to happen. Default male again. Women will read about men more happily than men will read about women.

Tomnoddy - 30 Apr 2022 19:58:34 (#2088 of 2225)

Not true in my case.

limegreen - 30 Apr 2022 21:01:50 (#2089 of 2225)

Oh, it's a massive generalisaton, but across the population, I think it holds up. (No, I don't have data!)

LobsangRampa - 01 May 2022 05:13:36 (#2090 of 2225)

There's some data on the U.S. publishing industry. 73% female. 70% white. This in a society that is pretty much 50/50 gender wise. The data on the ethnic breakdown of American society seems a bit contradictory ranging from 76% white to 56% "all white". I think the 56 figure is the one generally accepted.

There was a story about an American publishing house who announced that it was going to ensure its staffing policy reflected the makeup of society and then backed off when it worked out the extent to which it would have to reduce its female workforce.

No idea if this was true or just a "wokeness gone mad" meme.

TenGorillas - 01 May 2022 08:00:23 (#2091 of 2225)

I have to say from working with publishers for over twenty years it is pretty much a monoculture, and very middle class due to the internships and low wages.

TenGorillas - 01 May 2022 08:00:42 (#2092 of 2225)

Much like literary translation in fact.

Lagopus - 01 May 2022 12:51:16 (#2093 of 2225)

My impression is that editorial used to be all male but is getting more even. Publicity and marketing is pretty much entirely female. Sales remains the domain of men who are even older than me.

angelico - 01 May 2022 16:11:08 (#2094 of 2225)

LJ is now nearly 70 years old and still in print.

I’m just reading my very tattered copy once again, rev, and noted that I cost me the sum of 35p.

I hadn’t noticed that it was dedicated to Larkin. What a pair of piss-heads they must have been. But anyway, many genuine laugh-out-louds and still only page 34.

PoppySeedBagel - 01 May 2022 15:37:24 (#2095 of 2225)

The description of his hangover in LJ is, to my mind, the most perfect piece of writing.

Lagopus - 01 May 2022 15:48:45 (#2096 of 2225)

I like LJ in the same way I like Scoop. Which is 'why didn't they always write like that?'

angelico - 01 May 2022 16:51:56 (#2097 of 2225)

I don't think I'd spotted the parallels between Madeline Bassett and Margaret before.

angelico - 01 May 2022 16:54:18 (#2098 of 2225)

I like LJ in the same way I like Scoop. Which is 'why didn't they always write like that?'

I seriously OD-ed on EW during my teens and can't stick him now. Reading Brideshead for a book group was torture.

But now you've mentioned Scoop, I might try that again, at least.

elderberry - 01 May 2022 16:00:59 (#2099 of 2225)

Am I alone in finding LJ almost terminally dull?

TenGorillas - 01 May 2022 17:56:30 (#2100 of 2225)

I think i read it far too young. Should give it another go.

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