Open Letter to Jodi Picoult

Dear Ms Picoult,
I agree, the New York Times really, really likes white dudes from Brooklyn. I noticed a while back, and the reviewers there are not real subtle in their idol worship. Further, I'm pretty sure the reviewer of the new Franzen book, Michiko Kakutani, is predisposed to hate female authored books. All this can definitely get pretty annoying.

However, I complain as a reader. You're complaining as a writer, and I have to assume that you're complaining because your reviews have been less than positive. Here's the thing: you're a horrible writer. Your situations are cliche and contrived. Your characters are more than unlikeable, they're hateful and unbelieveable. You seem to be writing to ensure a TV movie option.

You sell a lot of books and I can't figure out why. Maybe all this is unfair of me, since I've only read about 50 pages of one of your novels. I can't remember another book I've hated so much I had to put it down and quit. There are books I don't like, having finished them, but yours was the only one that so disgusted me I had to stop and give it back to the library, lest it contaminate my house further.

So maybe I just don't know enough of your work. But have you read Franzen? He's really, really good. So is Lethem. Some of the Wonderboys the NYT loves aren't all that, but those two? They kinda are. You are not now and will never be in the same league.

I'm annoyed that you co-opted a very valid complaint for your sour grapes. You cheapen and lessen the point. It almost feels like Sarah Palin calling herself a feminist. Right words, wrong people.

Next time the NYT fawns over Tao Lin, though, feel free to lose your shit.

Sincerely,
Panic

11 comments:

bathory said...

ouch.

Panic said...

I'm not kidding when I say it was the WORST (published) THING I HAVE EVER READ.

jennifer0246 said...

i like picoult, but then i tend to read crappy shut-your-brain-off "chick lit".

i do agree her stories are contrived and formulaic, though.

Panic said...

I'm down with "chick-lit" as a genre. I loved Kinsella, and the first Bridget Jones. I have nothing against commercial fiction in general really. But Picoult... ugh.

J said...

I already had a bit of a blogging crush on you and then you went and savaged Jodi Picoult. My heart skips anew! :)

Panic said...

Oh my. Lovely of you to say, J!

Elixxir said...

This broad makes me want to renounce my ovaries and try to stretch my clit into a dick. STOP EMBARRASSING ME!

Not Michiko Kakutani said...

I just read your Michiko Kakutani piece and in it you say that you don't know if Michiko Kakutani is a man or a woman. Well, if you haven't found out by now, (the post is three years old) she's a woman.

Panic said...

Yep, a couple posts later I mention that, and admonish myself for not just googling it at the time. Thanks for the follow-up!

Anonymous said...

Your blog description is right when you say people only come second or third. You don't have to like a book, but have some respect for the writer for crying out loud. Picoult is a fantastic writer, and 40 million sold copies send a much louder message than your pathetic "open letter". I'd "panic" too if I were you.

Panic said...

"Popular" does not necessarily equal "skilled" or "talented" or "good." Sorry!