Most Overrated Writers

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shamrock.9967
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Most Overrated Writers

Postby shamrock.9967 » Sun Jan 21, 2018 2:55 pm

Here are my top three. 1. Jorie Graham--portentous, insipid page-vomit passing for poetry.
2. Ray Carver--sometimes simple is simple-minded.
3. Toni Morrison--vague and disappointing prose. Kept reading hoping things would get better. They didn't.

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Re: Most Overrated Writers

Postby RobTheThird » Sun Jan 21, 2018 3:02 pm

Being successful isn't always about being the best. Sometimes, it's about being in tune with what the market wants.

It's sort of like Britney Spears. Not everyone likes her. Hell, a lot of people make fun of her. But she's earned tens of millions of dollars being Britney Spears.

If that's overrated, or failure, I'll take that.

That's why I rarely participate in these kinds of discussions. They're not invalid. I just don't feel that way.

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ostarella
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Re: Most Overrated Writers

Postby ostarella » Sun Jan 21, 2018 3:44 pm

"Over-rated" depends on individual tastes, and individual tastes often depend simply on what you're in the mood for at any given time.
"The trick of the fiction writer is the beautiful lie..." Thomas Fox Averill

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Noizchild
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Re: Most Overrated Writers

Postby Noizchild » Sun Jan 21, 2018 4:15 pm

E.L. James and Stephenie Meyer. Those count, right?
You ask me what I thought about
Before we were lovers.
The answer is easy.
Before I met you
I didn't have anything to think about.

-- From "The Love Poems of Marichiko"

T.A.Rodgers
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Re: Most Overrated Writers

Postby T.A.Rodgers » Wed Jan 24, 2018 9:25 am

In one of the few industries where your competitors are there to help you succeed, it's not the greatest idea to bludgeon fellow writers. Even if you do not care for an author's work, it's best to just move on because some day you may meet a writer whom would have helped you move forward only for them to not because you lambasted their friend. Just a thought. :)

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wdarcy
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Re: Most Overrated Writers

Postby wdarcy » Wed Jan 24, 2018 12:28 pm

I agree, Terry. Everyone has different tastes. Just look at the reader "reviews" (I use the term loosely) on Amazon. Some love a book, others hate it for the very same reason!

It's perfectly fine to hate a book or an author (or a movie or a director) that other people love. What appeals to them does not appeal to you. But there is no call to go trashing the book or the author, even behind the anonymity of a pseudonym. Just don't read that book or author. Move on and find something you like.

This applies as much to dead authors as it does to living authors. For example, I love both "Moby Dick" and "Ulysses" and have reread both many times. I know some people hate one or both. That's fine. Don't read them, move on, find a book and an author you do like. But don't trash the books or the authors.

--Warren
"Wagner's 'Das Rheingold'" (Oxford 1993). Winner of the Society for Music Theory's Wallace Berry Award, 1995.

"Elements of Sonata Theory" co-authored with James Hepokoski(Oxford 2006). Winner of the Society for Music Theory's Wallace Berry Award, 2008.

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Re: Most Overrated Writers

Postby DrG2 » Sat Feb 03, 2018 4:49 pm

I've read one novel by Toni Morrison, and consider her to be an excellent writer. She's great at the craft of writing. She's won both a Nobel an Pulitzer.
I've read a few of Carver's short stories, and liked them very much.

David Foster Wallace is at the top of my list. If he didn't swallow a shotgun blast, I'd want to punch him for that dreadful Infinite Jest.
Donna Tartt would be high on the list, based on The Goldfinch, which somehow did win a Pulitzer.

Noizchild wrote:
> E.L. James and Stephenie Meyer. Those count, right?

I don't think many people rate them highly, so probably not.

StuYork
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Re: Most Overrated Writers

Postby StuYork » Fri Feb 09, 2018 7:38 am

I might get whipped for saying this, but for me Charles Dickens is overrated. Sure, A Christmas Carol is a great story and I enjoy movie adaptations of it every year, but I haven't found any of his other exciting. I've always struggled with the way his sentences flow, I find them overly wordy with too many clauses. Unlike other authors I feel like I have to concentrate harder on understanding the words that he's used rather than on the story he's written, and I often have to read sentences again to make sure I've got it. I start his books and I give up because I cannot engage with them.

I also feel like he used too many silly-sounding made-up names. In a fantasy world like Tolkien's Middle Earth I expect made-up names, or in a comedy, but not in Victorian England. I don't think they fit in with the world he's writing about. Maybe his names were intended as a juxtaposition to the bleak world he was describing, but for me it doesn't work at all.

I'm no longer welcome here, am I? Thanks for having me...

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ostarella
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Re: Most Overrated Writers

Postby ostarella » Fri Feb 09, 2018 8:49 am

Dickens is very difficult to read, but I think that's due to the time period in which he lived and wrote. No modern writer would write in that style, certainly. I don't re-read his works as often as I do modern novels, but when I do it's with the understanding that I'm going to have to work a bit harder. ;)

This does illustrate why discussing "over-rated" writers is problematic, however.
"The trick of the fiction writer is the beautiful lie..." Thomas Fox Averill

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wdarcy
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Re: Most Overrated Writers

Postby wdarcy » Fri Feb 09, 2018 12:41 pm

I love Dickens and re-read his novels often. I first read Bleak House while in high school and loved it. I don't find him difficult to read at all. And remember: his novels were the genre novels of the time. Readers couldn't wait for the latest installment.

As for his characters' names, clearly they're meant for comic effect, but they also say something about the characters' personalities. I love them. As a newspaper reporter, Dickens observed humanity with a keen eye. Someone once asked him why he exaggerated his characters' idiosyncrasies to such a degree. His answer: "Exaggerate? Compared to the real people I observed, I toned them down!"

Clearly Dickens is not for everyone, but I love the fictional world he created.

--Warren
"Wagner's 'Das Rheingold'" (Oxford 1993). Winner of the Society for Music Theory's Wallace Berry Award, 1995.

"Elements of Sonata Theory" co-authored with James Hepokoski(Oxford 2006). Winner of the Society for Music Theory's Wallace Berry Award, 2008.

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