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23 December 2009 @ 08:21 pm
#58  
Anything for Love, Sarah Webb

This has the most baffling (not to mention mundane, cliched and non-specific) title of any chicklit I've ever read. You see, none of the protagonists do anything for love, besides being in it. There are no Grand Gestures or passions spanning lives and years. Nope, just two single parents who happen to work for the same hospital fundraising committee getting it on. Man, I didn't even know there was such a thing as paid fundraisers - at least in this country.

Other things that annoyed me:

A first-class section ... in Aer Lingus. What? Those Smartie tubes of planes have one class only, and that is cattle. Yes, I understand that it's difficult to write proper rich people in a country with only four million people, most of whom are plain lower middle class, but this is just a step too far.

The author explaining that Brown Thomas is a department store. Really? BECAUSE I THOUGHT IT WAS A BUTCHER'S. Get a grip, woman! Your main market is Irish people, none of whom will appreciate this explanation for BT (although if she'd said a snobby hellhole where salespeople look at you with their noses, full of schoolgirls spending their dad's money on designer handbags they don't deserve, then I would have been less caustic). I'm sure the market in the UK you might reach will just love this condescension more.

Webby, my sweet, Bebo is OVER. It was over two years ago. Why must you flog this poor dead horse?

The epilogue was horrific. I finally see why people hate my endings so much.

That said, this was far from the worst chicklit in the world. There are some interesting aspects around Koo's husband and Maud's background, but none of them are fully developed. I'm never sold on Maud as a dreadful martinet, mainly because Alice (the narrator - UCKUCK FIRST PERSON, WHEN WILL THEY LEARN) is both vaguely unlikeable and vaguely characterised. I kept remembering that she had a son with a jolt at the same time the character did. A son that's so easy to forget doesn't need to be in the story.

The funny thing is, I read this woman's first book and she has actually improved. She's still got a long way to go, though. I certainly would look back and cringe that I let myself be published at this stage, were I her.

I must also write up a post of good chicklit some time. I'm a wee bit disturbed by how disdainful people are of the whole genre. Paolini and Meyer in no way, shape or form match Tolkien, but no one is suggesting that the fantasy genre is Meyer and Paolini. It bugs me.

Previously, on Book Glomp 2009:
He Knew He Was Right, Anthony Trollope |The Bostonians, Henry James | For Whom the Bell Tolls, Ernest Hemingway | For Esme - with Love and Squalor, JD Salinger | The Outsider, Albert Camus | The Princess Diaries: Ten out of Ten, Meg Cabot | The Vicar of Bullhampton, Anthony Trollope | Molesworth, Geoffrey Willans | Villette, Charlotte Bronte | The Portrait of a Lady, Henry James | The Way of All Flesh, Samuel Butler | Cecilia, Fanny Burney | The Catcher in the Rye, JD Salinger | The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie, Muriel Spark | Breakfast of Champions, Kurt Vonnegut | Valley of the Dolls, Jacqueline Susann | Siddhartha, Herman Hesse | The White Tiger, Aravind Adiga | The Duke and I, Julia Quinn | Brave New World, Aldous Huxley | North and South, Elizabeth Gaskell | Cider with Rosie, Laurie Lee | Catch-22, Joseph Heller | Bright Shiny Morning, James Frey | Of Mice and Men, John Steinbeck | The Demon's Lexicon, Sarah Rees Brennan | The Age of Innocence, Edith Wharton | jPod, Douglas Coupland | 'Are these my basoomas I see before me?', Louise Rennison | Faro's Daughter, Georgette Heyer | Anansi Boys, Neil Gaiman | The Accidental Sorcerer, K.E. Mills | Ethan of Athos, Lois McMaster Bujold | V., Thomas Pynchon | The Old Man and the Sea, Ernest Hemingway | The Dragon Keeper, Robin Hobb | Orlando, Virginia Woolf | The Bell Jar, Sylvia Plath | Snuff, Chuck Palahniuk | Crush, Richard Siken | Trust Me, I'm a Junior Doctor, Max Pemberton | The Dice Man, Luke Rhinehart | Call Me By Your Name, Andre Aciman | Young Miles, Lois McMaster Bujold | He's Just Not That Into You, Greg Behrendt and Liz Tuccillo | The Fountainhead, Ayn Rand | A Classical Education, Caroline Taggart | The Way We Live Now, Anthony Trollope | Two Cures for Love, Wendy Cope | Unseen Academicals, Terry Pratchett | Atlas Shrugged, Ayn Rand | Diary, Chuck Palahniuk | Vanity Fair, William Makepeace Thackeray | ♥ A Suitable Boy, Vikram Seth | A Moveable Feast, Ernest Hemingway | Gulliver's Travels, Jonathan Swift | Castle in the Air, Diana Wynne Jones
 
 
 
girl; obsessed: **other - cat girl**complications_g on December 23rd, 2009 08:34 pm (UTC)
Recs for good chicklit would be much appreciated!
every Starbucks should have a polar bear: Eddie Izzard: cake or death?scoradh on December 23rd, 2009 08:46 pm (UTC)
:D! Atm the main good authors I can think of are Jilly Cooper, Fiona Walker (the early stuff) and Maeve Binchy. Marian Keyes has one or two good ones - Last Chance Saloon and Lucy Sullivan is Getting Married. Welcome to Temptation by Jenny Crusie is AWESOME. Obviously, anything by Georgette Heyer! The Grand Sophy and Cotillion are my favourites. Hmm. That's all I can think of offhand...
girl; obsessed: bandom - travie & joecomplications_g on December 28th, 2009 03:30 pm (UTC)
Ty for these! I've read some Marian Keyes, but I'm gonna check the others out. :D
a kid on the lookout for transcendenceextemporally on December 24th, 2009 02:00 am (UTC)
PANDA HAT. You should definitely do that chicklit recslist!
every Starbucks should have a polar bearscoradh on December 24th, 2009 12:18 pm (UTC)
IT IS SERIOUSLY THE MOST AWESOME HAT. I went to buy it sight unseen just BECAUSE it was a panda hat.

I will! :D It is all I read for like five years.
(Anonymous) on December 24th, 2009 10:54 am (UTC)
Another vote for a chick lit rec list. Also, it is really, really bizaare to see Cecelia Ahern translated into Norwegian (Om du kunne se meg nå), and even weirder that it's on the bestseller list.
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every Starbucks should have a polar bearscoradh on December 24th, 2009 12:20 pm (UTC)
OH NO, POOR NORWEGIANS! It's bad enough that she spreads her sticky fingers over the lists here. DDD: She is definitely NOT on any of my recs.
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every Starbucks should have a polar bearscoradh on December 24th, 2009 03:56 pm (UTC)
lol you are very behind the times! The horsey one from Fair City does too, as well as Martine McCutchen. Obviously being on TV is no-fault requirement for writing a book. :/