Blowhard, Esq. writes:
In a recent NYT interview of Michael Chabon for the Book section, the following exchange took place:
You can suggest three books to a literary snob who believes genre fiction has no merit. What’s on the list?
“The Turn of the Screw.” “Heart of Darkness.” “Blood Meridian.”
Let’s see: a literary ghost story, a literary adventure story, and a literary Western. I guess his point is that even acclaimed literary writers have written genre-influenced works. OK, sure, that’s a valid point. But Chabon’s answer is still a cop-out b/c the Literary Snob can retort, “Well, yes, in the hands of master prose stylists perhaps these genre conventions are worthwhile, but otherwise they’re safely ignored.” To be fair, Chabon does namecheck Ian Fleming, Elmore Leonard, Ray Bradbury, and Sherlock Holmes, so that’s something.
Anyone familiar with Chabon’s novels? If so, what did you think? I gave The Adventures of Kavalier & Clay a whirl once but I made it all of 50 pages in before ditching it out of boredom. A friend says it took her three shots to get interested but she ended up loving it. Maybe it’s time to give it another try.