Kim Bielenberg: Books that should be thrown with great force – and the Hatchet Jobs of the Year
IT is the prize that critics might covet, but the objects of their derision will hope to avoid.
Nominations are in for the Hatchet Job of the Year Award.
The prize will reward the most scathing book reviews of 2012 .
It offers recognition to those who might emulate the American critic Dorothy Parker, who famously said of a book by Benito Mussolini: "This is not a novel to be tossed aside lightly; it should be thrown with great force."
And she concludes: "The world is as large and as wide as it ever was; it's just Rushdie who got small."
Charles said Amis served “stereotypes on a silver platter”, before adding that the work “has the grating tone of an episode of The Beverly Hillbillies sketched on the back of an envelope”.
Brown said it was “such a triumph that by now Bradford must be able to press the Command button and C for Copy simultaneously in his sleep”.
While good reviews are quickly forgotten, bad notices live long in the memory. They can lead to long drawn-out literary feuds, and very occasionally writers even come to blows over them.
"Never have I read such tosh. As for the first two chapters, we will let them pass, but the third, the fourth, the fifth, the sixth - merely the scratchings of pimples on the body of the bootboy at Claridges.”
And poor old Jane Austen was the chosen target of Mark Twain:
"Every time I read Pride and Prejudice I want to dig her up and hit her over the skull with her own shin bone."
Steady on there, Mark.