Messud's Horrible Novel Wins

I just stumbled onto a few other people with some semblance of sanity who also fully recognize that Claire Messud is one of the worst writers ever published in America to receive lavish praise as one of America's best writers.

As One Minute Book Reviews puts it:

The most overrated book of 2006 was The Emperor’s Children, a windy and cliché-infested novel full of repulsive characters who move in eddies around an aging New York journalist.

Now I have to quote this from Messud's novel:

"He remembered his father’s telling him - his father, small as he was himself tall, with sloping shoulders off which Murray feared, as a child, the braces might slip, a bow-tied little man with an almost Hitlerian mustache, softened from menace by its grayness, and by the softness, insidious softness, of his quiet voice, a softness that belied his rigidity and tireless industry, his humorless and ultimately charmless ‘goodness’ (Why had she married him? She’d been so beautiful, and such fun) - telling him, as he deliberated on his path at Harvard, to choose accounting, or economics, saying, with that dreaded certainty, ‘You see, Murray, I know you want to go out and write books or something like that. But only geniuses can be writers, Murray, and frankly son …" [p. 124]


  1. Anonymous5:39 PM

    A quick postscript Claire Messud's Delete Key Award for the year's worst writing in books:

    Messud had received so much praise from critics that I expected at least a few protests from visitors to my site after she got that (booby) prize. Instead, EVERY comment I got about her award was on the order of, "I've been waiting for somebody to say that ..." You are far from alone in your reaction to her books. Thanks a million for the link, and I'm glad you started your blog ...
    Jan Harayda
    One-Minute Book Reviews

  2. Thanks so much Janice. I've never seen the reader and publishing community so totally polarized in my life. The fact that Emperor's Children is a very bad novel is confirmed beyond doubt. There are no shades of gray, no room for wiggling on this unless the reviewer is motivated by something other than the truth.

    It is indeed THE WORST prose I've ever seen with a cover slapped on it, as well as the THE WORST novel I've ever read to receive such uncritical and lavish praise.