Won’t Be Reading

I was going to read Anna Burns’s Milkman but after seeing this review I lost all interest:

Middle sister has already begun to stick out from her older siblings by showing no interest in marriage and by this habit of reading Victorian novels as she walks down perfectly respectable streets. There is nothing between her and the Milkman but the gossips see logical connections. Of course the unmarried reading-while-walking weirdo will hook up with the paedo Milkman.

Maybe it’s unfair and the review is bad and doesn’t reflect what the novel is about but if there’s the tiniest chance it does, I want to avoid it. You can’t seriously write, in the 21st century, about sticking out by way of not wanting to get married. You can’t even pull it off and not sound intensely boring in Riyadh, let alone in Ireland.

Unmarried and reading 18-year-olds stopped counting as stigmatized weirdos about a hundred years ago. It’s time for the writers to wake up and notice the very different problems that today’s very different women actually have. Marriage is dead in developed countries because consumerism ate it. That would be something interesting to read about.

I haven’t read the book, though. I’m commenting solely on the idiotic review.

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8 thoughts on “Won’t Be Reading”

  1. “can’t seriously write, in the 21st century, about sticking out by way of not wanting to get married”

    Trying to be fair, the book is apparently set in the Troubles so it’s a couple of decades ago and the Irish until very recently were far more conservative than just about anyone in Europe (or the West in general). So it’s weird now, maybe slightly less so at the time the novel takes place…

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  2. In other news, it seems the Man Booker Prize is a complete fraud.
    Seriously, according to wikipedia)the book (the Milkman) was published in September of this year and won the prize in October about a month (or less!) after publication? In what universe is that possible?
    Seriously….. nooooooo. Nope. No more respect for that.

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      1. How can people make a legitimate and sound judgement on a piece of literature (as in giving it a supposedly prestigious award) in less than a month?
        The answer is: They can’t, it’s not a literary award, it’s a publicity stunt.

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        1. The award isn’t for the book. It’s for the currently hot subject of evil, irrational nationalism. Nobody needed to read the book to decide it was worth the prize.

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