Friday, October 09, 2009

Literary tone-deafness

I usually like Salon, but sometimes their stuff irritates the hell out of me. Take this recent article on Lise Haines’ new novel Girl in the Arena, which kicks off with the following lines:

"Girl in the Arena is like nothing you’ve ever read. Lise Haines’ new novel is about the rise of a modern gladiator culture in America, in which fights to the death have become a hugely profitable televised sport."
"Nothing you've ever read"... unless, of course, you've read The Hunger Games, which sold about a bazillion copies last year. Are the Salon writers seriously that oblivious to literary popular culture*? I haven't read Haines' book (although I might; it sounds kinda cool), so I can't weigh in on any similarities between her novel and The Hunger Games, but trust me, Salon: combining that opening line with that description was a mistake.

*They've weighed in on Harry Potter and Twilight, but that's pretty much it.

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