Musings on the Palahniuk review

The Antic Muse weighs in on Laura Miller’s Palahniuk smack-down, which Stephany and others were talking about last week.

Says the Muse:

Miller clearly had her knife out for this one. And what’s really impressive about the carving job she does is that it is, apparently, grounded in Miller’s superior knowledge of the grooming and/or consuming habits of the upper-class….

I mean, of all the reasons to dislike a novelist, not getting the brand names right has to be pretty fucking low on the list. If correctly connecting the right social class with the right commodities is really a criteria reviewers should care about, why didn’t Kurt Andersen get the Pulitzer?

What’s even weirder, and possibly more damning, than any premeditation that Miller brought to the review, is that its viciousness is so generic. There are easily a dozen best-selling authors today whose writing is just as sloppy as Palahniuk’s appears to be. While her numerous examples of poorly chosen metaphors and factual errors are obviously specific to Palahniuk, the problem isn’t. By trashing him so thoroughly for what amounts to not having done his research, she ignores avenues that would have made for a more interesting dust-up. Miller, for instance, basically (and bizarrely) writes off Palahniuk’s considerable cult following….

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