Thursday, May 27, 2004

I just have just not not been in a blogging mood. In the past few weeks, my grandmother died, my daughter graduated from high school, I had two teeth pulled -- which means I'm supposed to not smoke in order to avoid a double-whammy of dry socket, which I'm not not doing -- and I've reviewed a number of books, only one of which impressed me, but nothingt really drove me to express my mixed or tortured or indifferent feelings.

But this recent column by Laura Miller kind of amused me. She's announcing with giddy glee the short life and sudden death of "lad lit," books aimed at single young horny men. The first paragraph includes this sobering note:

Nothing stings quite so bitterly as cold numbers, so when the magazine printed that Nielsen BookScan had detected sales of only 1,716 copies of Kyle Smith's ''Love Monkey,'' an ostensible leader of the well-publicized ''trend,'' it had to hurt. An events planner at a Chicago bookstore chain was quoted saying that lad lit might attract women readers interested in ''spying on the other side, getting a look into the locker room,'' but she had to admit that the 10 stores in the chain she works for hadn't sold a single copy of either ''Love Monkey'' or another exemplar of the genre, Scott Mebus's ''Booty Nomad.''

Gee, that Love Monkey must be lousy, eh? Well, let's take a sampling of critical opinion, keeping in mind the fact that critical acclaim and popular acclaim tend not to have much to do with each other. Truly, the critics seem to have loved this novel. Both the New York Times and the Atlanta Journal-Constitution found it "hilarious," Entertainment Weekly found it both "hilarious" and "refreshing," Boston Herald thought it "hilarious and touching," while the Los Angeles Times found it "Deeply hilarious and incriminatingly insightful."

Incriminatingly insightful.

I point out for your amusement that the longest review, reprinted in its entirety, is by some killjoy at the Washington Post. Who let him in?

No comments: