Crap Journalism


I don’t really care what other people think of the books (or films or television or art) I like. Make an interesting, intelligent, thoughful criticism and I’ll read it, though you’re unlikely to change my mind. Just slag it off, and I’ll shrug and ignore you.

Occasionally, those who slag off need answering, briefly. Take this feature in the Guardian about writer Adam Kay in the Books That Made Me column. Note his comment about Lord of the Rings, which he calls ‘indecipherable nonsense’.

I don’t know who Adam Kay is or what he writes. He’s as entitled to dislike Lord of the Rings as I am to like it and neither of us is right or wrong.

But given the sheer volume of readers it has had, the reams of academic study it has undergone, its translation into film and radio by people with creative abilities, ‘indecipherable nonsense’ is demonstrably one thing it is not and Kay’s description says more about his comprehesion skills than the book itself.

4 thoughts on “Crap Journalism

  1. According to Wikipedia he’s a author, comedy writer (for television) and doctor. There was nothing there I saw that indicated he liked, or ever would have liked, fantasy or sci-fi. That’s his loss, but there are plenty like him. There’s a Clive James quote that seemed to indicate he wasn’t a “Lord of the Rings” (or Narnia) fan either. It is a bit oafish to dismiss a book like “Lord of the Rings” as “indecipherable nonsense”, just because he, personally, couldn’t get into it. I don’t much like opera, but I would dismiss ALL opera as “shrill nonsense”, nor, I suspect, would he. Perhaps he was trying to be funny? I can’t say I’m queuing up to buy or watch his stuff.

  2. Clive James, on several occasions, was quite scathing about magic realism in general and One Hundred Years in Solitude in particular, and I love that book. I think this guy’s supposed to have written something funny. I found it incomprehensible (opinion) is fine, so we differ. It is indecipherable (fact), no, you have the reading year old of a five year old. Just one more buffoon trying to stand out.

  3. I think Lord of the Rings is one of the greatest works of art ever made by man. I too wish he had provided more room for debate than he did.

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