Tuesday, August 11, 2009

The World According to Garp

The series from the National Book Awards folks on previous winners has been continuing apace. This one stopped us because it was such a book seemingly of the moment. I mean, at some point everyone was not only reading Garp, but claiming it was the best thing they'd ever read. This was back in 1980. It does bring one back.

Fiction judge Craig Nova writes: The test of whether a book is any good, at least as far as Matthew Arnold was concerned, is how it stands up to the withering assaults of time. The current moment, as we seem to have to learn again and again, while seeming real, is often the essence of distortion. Need I say more about this then to mention bell bottom pants or Grunge? ... I am happy to report that not only has The World According to Garp stood up to the horrifying evaluation of Matthew Arnold's test, it has gotten better. The book has genius... More.

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