I'm so embarrassed by humans.
I certainly can't live without my BRIDGET JONES'S FUCKING DIARY. I wonder which Five People I'll Meet in Heaven?
Also, hey everybody: Life of Pi SUCKS.
That proves it. The British are the Americans of Europe.
But can you imagine what the actual American list would look like?
More Clancy, Crichton, and Steel than you can shake a stick at. 8 different versions of the Bible. Stephen King, Dean Koontz, and a bunch of people insisting that "'People' is a book, right?"
Cool to see His Dark Materials up there. Some good stuff up there, and definitely a higher good/bad ratio than would appear on a similar American list.
To be honest, I can't think of any books "I couldn't live without." If I've read them, I don't need to read them again, even if I love them, and if I haven't, I don't know what I'm missing. Maybe a dictionary? Or a phone book?
Lindy @ 1: I don't think Life of Pi sucks -- it's lumpy oatmeal, sure, but it's an interesting experiment. Obviously you've never had to justify to yourself (via allegory) an embarrassing lapse into cannibalism. On the other hand, how it could rank ahead of Dune is beyond me.
Right now I can't live without The archaeology of the Industrial Revolution by Brian Bracegirdle et al.
I agree with Lindy. It took me about 3.14 seconds to wretch at Life of Pi. What a waste!!
HATER @ 8: I see what you did there! 3.14, that's pi!
But I think you probably retched, and then felt wretched.
I thought it was self-satisfied and precious and hollow. And tedious. I wanted the prose to be lovelier.
And I wanted everyone's mom to shut up about it.
I expected self-satisfied and precious and hollow, and was surprised to find an extended allegory. Perhaps I'm being overly kind because of that. But it didn't make me want to beat my head against a wall to make it stop, like Da Vinci Code for instance.
"I wanted the prose to be lovelier.
And I wanted everyone's mom to shut up about it."
Welcome to my world.
When Yann Martel was in Seattle for Life of Pi, someone in the audience breathlessly asked him how they should interpret the novel. Martel then gave a little chuckle and said, "There are three ways you could look at the book," and he went on to provide windbaggy litcrit explanations of his own book. And the crowd was lapping it up. I've never seen anything like it, before or since, and I just couldn't help but think, "Man, what a wad..."
ooohhh, I can not WAIT to hear about how many evangelicals are pissed off that Harry Potter beat out the Bible on this list!
I should go pop in Jesus Camp for another watch just to giggle at the Harry Potter scenes again.
Argh. I'm soverytired of the whole Books Must Be Appreciated as High Literature thing. There's nothing wrong with people enjoying stories for stories. And no need, even if you absolutely adore James Joyce, to have his oeuvre represent your go-to reading experience.
P.S.: They asked "what book can't you live without?" not "which book educated you the most," "which book changed your world view," "which book had the loveliest prose" or "which book impresses your intellectual neighbors the most."
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