ToBS R1: characters that ‘just have to have their stories told’ vs. celebrity fiction
[Matchup #17 in Tournament of Bookshit]
I don’t how many people who hate this novel, or just want to make fun of it (here, here, here, and here for a random smattering of the shit-talking) cite the following passage as an example of bad writing: “Gia danced around a little, shaking her peaches for show. She shook it hard. Too hard. In the middle of a shimmy, her stomach cramped. A fart slipped out. A loud one. And stinky.” Snooki’s “novel” might be bad (I wouldn’t know; I’ve only read one excerpt enough to write this), but shall I compare this to a summer’s day–I mean to Ayn fucking Rand, in particular from Atlas Shrugged (a book I read when I was 19 and won’t bother with again because it’s Ayn fucking Rand)?: “Do not let your fire go out, spark by irreplacable spark. In the hopeless swamps of the not quite, the not yet, and the not at all, do not let the hero in your soul perish and leave only frustration for the life you deserved, but never have been able to reach. The world you desire can be won, it exists, it is real, it is possible, it is yours.” It should be obvious to you that the excerpt from A Shore Thing is immensely better writing than the selection from Rand’s tome. It is specific and rhythmic (even staccato, with the lilting iambic opening of “Gia danced around a little” followed by the trochaic “shaking” tossed in for variety, only to slide seamlessly back to the iamb in “her peaches for show”; then with the passage’s fragments it even mimics the sound of flatulence), and restrained, not indulging in metaphor and relying on the simple visual of “peaches.” Compare that to the gluttony of metaphoric ineptitude of comparing one’s drive for life to a fire and its requisite sparks. And what the fuck are the “hopeless swamps of the not quite”? Sounds like Rand’s prose is a bit backed up, like she could’ve used a laxative for clarity. The rest of the passage sounds like an American Family Insurance commercial. Snooki, FTW.
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WINNER: celebrity fiction