Friday, 9 October 2009

Barack & Books

Why has Barack Obama won the Nobel peace prize? What peace has he brought to where?

The Times today has published a list of the 60 best books of the last 60 years. It is a laughable collection, part meretricious, part infantile and generally depressing. For 1964 Len Deighton's Funeral in Berlin has been chosen over Saul Bellow's Herzog. That is one example of numerous fatuous choices. There are only five books written in a foreign language. Where is Milan Kundera? Where is Invisible Man? Where is Achebe? Or Oz? Where is The Bonfire of the Vanities? Muriel Spark? Richard Hughes? A House for Mr Biswas? R.K. Narayan? Where is One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovitch, you moronic Top People? Simenon? Where, in the name of all that is good and holy, is The Master and Margarita? I understand that the books were selected by readers of The Times. Gawd help us. I am a self-confessed middle-brow but this lot takes the biscuit. For what it is worth, my favourite novel of the past 60 years is The Sword of Honour trilogy by Evelyn Waugh.

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