proustbot: (Butterfly)
Those who believe too much [in characters in fiction] have an iron set of prejudices about what characters are: we should get to "know" them; they should not be "stereotypes", they should "grow" and "develop"; and they should be nice. So they should be pretty much like us. A glance at the thousands of foolish "reader reviews" on Amazon, with their complaints about "dislikeable characters", confirms a contagion of moralising niceness. Again and again, in book clubs up and down the country, novels are denounced because some feeble reader "couldn't find any characters to identify with", or "didn't think that any of the characters 'grow'".
--James Wood, "A Life of Their Own," The Guardian, January 26, 2008

Silent in the Grave, What's So Funny? and The Valley of Fear )
proustbot: (Butterfly)
I remember those days when Nixon was campaigning against [John F.] Kennedy, and he looked like Java Man or Precambrian Man, whichever one is more accurate. But he did look like a caveman, and Kennedy looked like a game-show host with that buttered-toast hair. Slowly through the interview, the bottom half of Nixon's face would start getting darker and darker. His beard was growing in before our eyes, and he'd be sweating. And I said like he's like Larry Talbot, in The Wolf Man. [Lon Chaney, Jr. voice.] "Whatever happens, if you hear me yellin' and whatever it is I do, don't open that door after midnight!"
--Billy West, in interview with The Onion A.V. Club, June 18th, 2008

Star Wars: Heir to the Empire and The Hound of the Baskervilles )

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