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06 June 2009 @ 12:31 pm
#19  
The Duke and I, Julia Quinn

This chick really should not advertise the fact that she attended Harvard - the reason being, I associate Harvard with super-duper smart people. Not people who don't know the difference between 'cutting a SWATHE' and 'cutting a SWASH' (whatever the fuck a swash is. It's probably related to swabbing).

This book was purportedly set in Regency England and yet it was rife with horrific modernisms AND Americanisms. I really, really can't believe someone from Harvard didn't know even one English exchange student that she could have inveigled into reading over this and informing her of some salient points, like:

- People in 21st century England don't use the term 'block,' so it is far from likely that people in 18th century England would have. I've been reading American books since the Babysitter's Club as a bb, and I still have yet to figure out what the fuck a block is. A housing block? An apartment block? A street? WHAT? Regardless, I doubt there's a Duchess on record who ever used that term. Okay, maybe Fergie, but she so doesn't count.

- Simon, or indeed any other man, could not sit on his 'fanny', for the simple reason that the distinguishing feature of a human male is the lack of vaginas.

Someone had the audacity to call Quinn 'the modern Austen'. What cheek! Okay, I did stop to ponder whether it would have been more toolish for her to try and write in a contemporary style, but there are some simple rules to follow in cases like these:

Don't use 'a bit', use 'a little.'
Don't use 'sort of/kind of,' use 'rather.'
Don't use phrases like 'ditched her groom'.

The sex scenes were so incredibly, amusingly bad. 'Cradle of her feminity'! OH HOW I LOL'D. Also, I've decided that 'climaxed' is the worst synonym for 'orgasmed', like, ever.

At least this book never aimed to be anything other than mildly bad. It makes a change from lauded classics that are supposed to be the model for all literature and are still bad. I suppose.

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
 
 
 
Margravine Palavar: Some Figuresmargravine on June 6th, 2009 04:09 pm (UTC)
Blocks have actually transcended the colloquial. They're built into our tax map systems. When they map out areas with surveys and boundaries and such to distinguish who is paying for what parcel of land, they divide areas into blocks . Like my property is Block 56, Lot 4. However, if you ever find yourself needing to worry about American tax maps for writing purposes I suggest that you start the story over and not do whatever it is that you were doing.

I think you can assume that the Babysitters Club was generally biking less than a quarter mile for each block since they were in suburban Connecticut.

I don't understand how this book you're talking about even happened. Did the editor have a seizure and die after reading the manuscript and they just took that as a sign of approval?

every Starbucks should have a polar bear: Quotey: princesses save themselvesscoradh on June 6th, 2009 05:57 pm (UTC)
Haha, I hope I shall never have call to be writing about ... tax maps. God, I did not even know there was such a thing. (I was pretty happy in my state of innocence, I gotta say.)

Ah, Connecticut. Which I always pronounced Connect-it-cut. Good times.

Meh, I rather think they took a look at the huge sales generated by Mills & Boon novels and decided to try their hand at the same genre. Because I leant this to my mom and she said it was dreadful; as she reads M&B, she would know!