Books I Loathed discussion

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Loathed Authors > Moral megalomania

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message 1: by Kay (last edited Aug 25, 2016 12:09PM) (new)

Kay | 20 comments ... aka those 'writers' who have such a strong moral message that it's like indoctrination.

Let me start: Roald Dahl. What happened to him? In James and the Giant Peach the morality was all in favour of James. In Charlie and the Chocolate Factory the kids were gruesome enough to deserve what happened to them (and in the films both Gene Wilder and Johnny Depp were cute enough to be allowed to torture small children in a factory setting) but Matilda? MATILDA!

What a ghastly, prim, mimsy, unutterably prunes and prisms little swot Matilda was, and how Dahl bangs the reader over the head with his moralism: TV is BAD, noisy children are BAD, sitting quietly is GOOD ... ugh.

Okay, I'll go and simmer in a corner now.


message 2: by Kate (last edited Aug 25, 2016 12:09PM) (new)

Kate (katiebobus) | 136 comments Mod
But Matilda does very bad things, and her headmistress and parents are HORRIBLE (except I guess she has the one sweet teacher). It's really selfishness Dahl hates (oh, and women). Doesn't he say those things much more (that things like loudness and TV are bad) in Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, where the vile children are two-dimensional pictures of greed and materialism? James and Charlie and Matilda are good little children, and everyone else gets what they deserve. Is Matilda really more blatant than his other texts?


message 3: by Kay (last edited Aug 25, 2016 12:09PM) (new)

Kay | 20 comments Yes I think it is, because all the humour that was evident in the other books; the surrealism, the sense that this was, indeed, not real and you didn't have to take it as a version of the real world, is missing here. Apart from her own peculiar ability, Matilda is much more a real world girl so the moralism also seems more based in reality. There's no fun to it, that's what makes it a form of megalomania, he's writing what he wants the reader to think, not what he wants the reader to enjoy.

You're right about him hating women though ... he really doesn't like the female sex, does he?


message 4: by David (last edited Aug 25, 2016 12:09PM) (new)

David (david_giltinan) | 58 comments > noisy children are BAD, sitting quietly is GOOD ... ugh.

I just don't remember this from Matilda at all. Almost the opposite, in fact.

I do think that his short stories are the best part of his work.


message 5: by Dianna (last edited Aug 25, 2016 12:25PM) (new)

Dianna | 55 comments I have seen others comment on the book "Atlas Shrugged" and I wanted to explain why I hated it.

First of all the book was way too long and repetitive. Unlike "War and Peace" where I looked forward to each chapter, this mega-book was like quicksand for me. I thought I would not be able to get out. I kept thinking, "this has to get better" but it never did. The preaching against communism while preaching for materialism was incomprehensible to me. I definitely could not relate to Ayn Rand's philosophy.

The biggest flaw of the book for me, though, was the idea that being rich is equatable with a good work ethic. And, conversely, if you are poor that means you are lazy. Did she not even realize that their are people who live off their inheritance and are really no better than the lazy bums in the story who lived off welfare. The only difference is one group has money and the other doesn't.

I do wonder what Ayn Rand would think of corporations having the status of personhood now in the United States.


message 6: by Cassiel (last edited Aug 25, 2016 12:31PM) (new)

Cassiel I know nothing about Ayn Rand the person, but judging by her books (glorification of the "manly" brutal male) I'd guess she was stuck firmly in a closet.

Good old Patricia Highsmith and Mary Renault at least shared a sense of humor (and good writing skills).


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