Gracias por no leer
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating

Gracias por no leer

3.93 of 5 stars 3.93  ·  rating details  ·  183 ratings  ·  30 reviews
Thank You for Not Reading is a biting critique of book publishing: agents, subagents, and scouts, supermarket-like bookstores, Joan Collins, book fairs that have little to do with books, authors promoted because of sex appeal instead of merit, and editors trying to look like writers by having their photograph taken against a background of bookshelves. Nowadays, the best st...more
Published 2004 (first published 2001)
more details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Gracias por no leer, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about Gracias por no leer

This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Add this book to your favorite list »

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 447)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  rating details
Wow. This is a hell of a book. Dubravka is really damn smart, sometimes too smart for me, in fact. These essays really range in scope, although the first section is all about publishing: how sex appeal counts for more than skill, how 'the market' is a blind, dumb animal, how agents are totally full of shit, how everything has become ruled by spectacle and silliness, etc.

I actually got this book because I saw her read with Bragi Ólafsson. During the reading, she said that this book got her basic...more
MJ Nicholls
These be charming and hilarious attacks on the publishing world, writers and their tics, and the laughable state of Croatian culture. These also be serious academic essays on East European writers, with ‘The Writer in Exile’ as its centrepiece: a lacerating display of egghead invective laced with personal sorrow and frustration.

Ugrešić has suffered the indifference of her chauvinist peers, the turned backs of a fiercely nationalist state, and the folly of trying to sell East European issues in...more
This wonderful, maddening, frustrating, brilliant book. Short essays of literary/cultural criticism that have the confidence of a Sontag, a Svetlana Boym, with all the subway-razor-slasher pessimism of a Nabokov. Yet I wavered between four and five stars because Ugresic never really takes her criticism all the way, as Boym does--she stops at quickly slashing the jacket of one's naive Western optimism and populism without ever telling us what she really does believe, what would be more correct or...more
Thank god for translations. This is a fascinating group of essays that looks at the current downslide of good writing in the United States and Europe. Her essays are not dogmatic--they are hilarious, often tongue-in-cheek, and yet critical. She articulates so much of what the publishing industry does to destroy good and great writers from reaching their audience. And she should know--as a Croatian writer, she is relegated to a part of the world that doesn't matter in corporate views of what sell...more
Jul 24, 2007 Djinnjer rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: readers
Shelves: nonfiction
A unique blend of essays and short fictions, with neither fiction nor nonfiction marked. The author makes interesting insights into the effects of market forces on literature and the aftereffects of communism and its fall in Eastern Europe.

"The Book Proposal" and "Eco among the Nudists" are among my favorites, but "Long Live Socialist Realism" - which compares the Oprah bestseller phenomenon to the Socialist realism movement of Yugoslavia's communist past - is the hook I'm using to get friends r...more
Grumpy Eastern-European intellectuals are awesome. Americans usually think they are "conservatives". They don't get it.
Audra (Unabridged Chick)
My two-word review for this book would likely be, 'Oh, snap!' because Ugresic pretty much rips on everyone in the literary/publishing world: readers, writers, publishers, agents, advertisers -- everyone but book sellers (sort of, more on that later).

Ugrešić's writing style is wonderful: poetic, biting, passionate, and fiery, and there's nothing in the publishing world she won't attack. From grocery stores selling books to the passion for Umberto Eco among vacationers in Greece, Ugrešić critique...more
(8/10) A scathing and frequently brilliant attack on the publishing industry and the literary world at large. Recently there have been a lot of people flocking to defend traditional publishers against big bad Amazon, but Ugresic's book acts as a good demonstration that the Big Six are as much an enemy to good literature as any online clearing-house. She does this mainly through bitter wit, outlandish humour, and a well-measured sprinkling of personal anecdotes. The best parts are the ones about...more
Any reader or writer will love these cynical and sometimes touching essays about how the current publishing world has changed our roles as readers and writers. Ugresic's observations are spot on, and even though these essays were written twelve to fifteen years ago, they are perhaps even more relevant today. I especially enjoyed "Women, Smoking, and Literature," "Little Red Dot," and "Long Live Socialist Realism!" The latter points out the ironic fact that the sort of book which sells well in to...more
This is a book replete with honed wit and satirical wisdom pointedly aimed at the publishing industry. The author really excels at delivering a great deal of thoughtful and thought-provoking insight into choices readers and publishers make in very short incisive essays. You will laugh out loud as you read about book proposals and find yourself astonished by the marked similarities between mainstream, marketed books and Soviet Social Realism.
"essays on literary trivia" is NOT a subtitle to this book, at least not on my copy.
that's really misleading.
this collection gathers just over two dozen mini-essays on book culture in the marketplace. perfect for public transport commutes, waiting-rooms, and nightstands.
A scathing look at one of the most endangered professions.
This was simply terrible. Take all of the hyperbole that speckles the work of Sven Birkerts and combine it with many of the opinions of Matthew Arnold (without either the class-based intrigue or the erudition), and you come close to characterizing this work. I'm happy to engage with (if not inclined to entirely agree with) the topics this essay collection raises: the cheapening of contemporary culture, the death of a literary class, the decay of society in the face of commercialism. But Ugresic...more
I read this book for my Creative Writing class as part of presentation and thought it was fabulous. It's essentially a critique of the book industry through an Eastern European type character that Ugresic embodies. There's a lot of the Eastern European humour that enjoy and some that flew over my head but that's fine because her underlying message still got to me. Definitely a book to pick up if you're a writer, love to read or are in the book industry.
So far, so good. Witty and pokes fun at mass-consumer culture, the 'loss of the literate audience' and the appetite for celebrity-induced/Oprah-approved 'spoon-fed' reads.
Ugresic writes from the point of view of an East European Woman writer/critic, which is interesting for me as I have recently moved to Krakow and took a Masterpieces of Polish Literature class. This class was great and whet my appetite for more literature from this region.
Jedna z najlepszych książek, jakie przeczytałem w ciągu bieżącego roku. Ostra, ironiczna, przenikliwa, gwałcąca dobre samopoczucie konsumentów kultury i zmuszająca do myślenia nie tylko na temat literatury, postaw przeciętnego człowieka, ale poruszająca również zagadnienie globalizacji jako problemu, procesu uniformizacji populacji ludzkiej, spłaszczania kultury i używania demokracji jako rekwizytu.

Gorąco polecam!
Very interesting, but out of date.
I thought this book bogged down towards the end. Some of the early essays were promising, but they got too tied down with her personal issues related to her exile and the state of literature today. I often found myself agreeing with her while at the same time being bored and turned off by her whining tone. One should probably pass on this one.
This was on my Amazon wishlist and I got it for Christmas. Full of short, smart, funny essays from an Easter-European perspective about the absurdities of the literary market--like Joan Collins being the featured author at a London Book Fair.
I'll admit, I didn't finish reading this book. The essays were interesting enough, but the writing wasn't inspiring. Perhaps because English is not the author's first language.
Angela Joyce
Jun 02, 2010 Angela Joyce rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Rueyn, Helena, Rashaan, David
There are so many reasons to love this book that I cannot possibly list them all... writers, read it. As a bonus, you'll learn fascinating things about Croatia.
Ugresic is one of those rare authors that can makes you laugh but primarily so she can twist the dagger deeper into you ribcage. This book hurts so good.
Mar 04, 2008 zan marked it as unfinished  ·  review of another edition
I love that the people who viewed this item also viewed Hunger by Knut Hamsun and Bridge to Terabithia. My kind of people.
wonderful, artful wide ranging essays about the world of books, literacy, and pop capitalism. recommened for all who read.
Sometimes witty. Sometimes satirical. Sometimes difficult to read (due to the translation?). A fair read.
Dubravka Ugresic: 1
Contemporary culture, literature and politics: 0
Неплохо, но слишком много политики.
Eh--confusing, major book headache.
Aug 10, 2009 Julie marked it as to-read  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Tongue in cheek humour.
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 14 15 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
  • Chromos
  • Oulipo: A Primer of Potential Literature
  • Palinuro De Mexico
  • Europeana: A Brief History of the Twentieth Century
  • Finding a Form
  • Television
  • On Elegance While Sleeping
  • The Jade Cabinet
  • Theory of Prose
  • Through the Night
  • Fado
  • Impossible Object
  • Jerusalém (O Reino, #3)
  • A Reading Diary: A Passionate Reader's Reflections on a Year of Books
  • Los ingrávidos
  • Best European Fiction 2011
  • James Joyce
  • Dolly City
Dubravka Ugrešić earned her degrees in Comparative Literature, Russian Language and Literature at the University of Zagreb, and worked for twenty years at the Institute for Theory of Literature at Zagreb University, successfully pursuing parallel careers as a writer and a literary scholar.

She started writing professionally with screenplays for children’s television programs, as an undergraduate. I...more
More about Dubravka Ugrešić...
The Ministry of Pain Baba Yaga Laid an Egg The Museum of Unconditional Surrender Štefica Cvek u raljama života The Culture of Lies: Antipolitical Essays

Share This Book

“Sanjala sam da sam J.L.Borges, koji je nekim čudom uskrsnuo, progledao, lupio se dlanom po čelu i brzo pretvorio u - Paula Coelha.” 0 likes
More quotes…