Fuse #8

Monday, April 23, 2007

The Over, Under, Around, and Through Rated

Recently Kelly Herold posted a piece on Big A little a entitled Am I Alone Here? The gist of the article is that there are certain books in this world that everyone seems to love.... except you. You are a freak. No one agrees with you that such n' so is overrated. So she asked for suggestions (she's not a huge fan of The Book Thief) of books that make people feel this way and got an interesting array of answers.

Some names that came up:

The His Dark Materials books
Octavian Nothing
The Bartimaeus trilogy
King Dork
The Attolia series

I liked most of these, but I can see where people are coming from on some. The one agreed the most with? Whoever didn't like Chasing Vermeer. As a great woman once said, "I like books where the kids find the clues. Not books where the clues find the kids." Testify! Ditto Peter and the Starcatchers. I've never much liked books where your hands get all slimy from the dripping contempt the authors have for the book they're referencing so heartily. Dave Barry obviously didn't like Peter Pan which is fine, but then why turn around and write something with the same characters? Ditto The Looking Glass Wars. Oh, how I disliked that title.

Free free to skip over to Big A little a to lodge your own complaints.

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At 11:20 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Could I nominate the entire Series of Unfortunate Events books as overrated? I'm sorry, but I just can't get into them. They're entertaining enough and there's enough action and silly humor so that I can see why kids like them, but they got old very quickly to me. I liked Mr. Handler's psuedo-Victorian style (it's a real departure from most kidlit and really treats the kids as intelligent readers) but they just didn't interest me any more after I read a couple. Besides, he has this irritating habit of repeating this one idea over and over and over--he would use a big word and then say, "which, in this case means..." and give some goofy definition. It was amusing the first 500 times but...
BTW, thanks for standing up for A Wrinkle In Time. It's a great book! And we get get kids in here all time time looking for it on their booklists, so other people think so too. We're not alone, sister!

At 12:12 AM , Blogger lifelongreader said...

a este proposito dice Plinio que no hay libro, por malo que sea, que no tenga alguna cosa buena; mayormente que los gustos no son todos unos, mas lo que uno no come, otro se pierde por ello.

About this Pliny says that there is no book, however bad it is, which does not have some good in it; namely that not all tastes are the same and what one person does not like, will enthrall another.

From La Vida de Lazarillo de Tormes (1554)- anon.

I'm not sure how how accurate my translation is, but it gives you the gist of the idea.

I agree with the comments about the Unfortunate series - they did nothing for me, and also Artemis Fowl - they just don't grab me.


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