Add Let the Great World Spin by Colum McCann to my ever-growing list of award-winning books that I hated (and in most cases Did Not Finish). This dreary novel joins recent winners of other coveted awards such as Olive Kitteridge by Elizabeth Strout (2009 Pulitzer Prize) and The Great Man by Kate Christenson (PEN/Faulkner 2008, a DNF, so unblogged) in my collection of “they weren’t talking to me when they picked these” books.
In the same vein, I took great delight in reading B. R. Myers' trashing of the latest Jonathan Franzen book Freedom in October's Atlantic Monthly. Hooray, finally someone agrees with me that Franzen is a lazy writer who tries to pass off bad prose and boring characters under a wrapper of "social relevance." The Corrections (National Book Award 2001) was one of the worst books I have ever read and is at the very top of my aforementioned list of dreadful prize-winners. Myers is the author of A Reader's Manifesto, a book I've been meaning to read for a really long time, ever since I read the excerpt from it that was published in the Atlantic back in 2001. That essay caused a huge kerfuffle among fans of literary fiction, but I loved it.