Hatchet Jobs: Writings on Contemporary Fiction Dale Peck Hatchet Jobs Writings on Contemporary Fiction Since the initial publication of Hatchet Jobs the groves of literary criticism have echoed with the clatter of steel on wood From heated panels at Book Expo in Chicago to contretemps at writers water
  • Title: Hatchet Jobs: Writings on Contemporary Fiction
  • Author: Dale Peck
  • ISBN: 9781595580276
  • Page: 345
  • Format: Paperback
Hatchet Jobs: Writings on Contemporary Fiction Dale PeckSince the initial publication of Hatchet Jobs, the groves of literary criticism have echoed with the clatter of steel on wood From heated panels at Book Expo in Chicago to contretemps at writers watering holes in New York, voices even fists have been raised.Peck s bracing philippic proposes that contemporary literature is at a dead end Novelists have forfeited a wider aSince the initial publication of Hatchet Jobs, the groves of literary criticism have echoed with the clatter of steel on wood From heated panels at Book Expo in Chicago to contretemps at writers watering holes in New York, voices even fists have been raised.Peck s bracing philippic proposes that contemporary literature is at a dead end Novelists have forfeited a wider audience, succumbing to identity politicking and self reflexive postmodernism In the torrent of responses to this fulguration, opinions were not so much divided as cleaved in two with, for example, Carlin Romano contending that Peck s judgments are worse than nasty they are hysterical and Benjamin Schwarz retorting that in his meticulous attention to diction, his savage wit, his exact and rollicking prose and his disdain for pseudointellectual flatulence, Dale Peck is Mencken s heir Hatchet Jobs includes swinging critiques of the work of, among others, Sven Birkerts, Julian Barnes, Philip Roth, Colson Whitehead, Jim Crace, Stanley Crouch, and Rick Moody.
Hatchet Jobs: Writings on Contemporary Fiction Dale Peck

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  1. MY FAIRLY DULL 30 DAY FACEBOOK CHALLENGE So if I was on Facebook as they say, I d have done this You have to name a book in these 30 categories Here goesDay 1 Favorite bookBad start there s no such animal But let s say Ulysses Day 2 Least favorite bookOh, I know this one American Psycho But Topping from Below runs it close second.Day 3 Book that makes you laugh out loudThe Innocent Anthropologist by Nigel Barley will do Also Trainspotting, Irvine Welsh Day 4 Book that makes you crySuch a Long Jo [...]

  2. Here we have Dale Peck doing the fish slapping dance with a few of his literary contemporaries, and I love it They have to stand there rigid and appearing to be unconcerned while sprightly Dale hops around, derides them horribly, and slaps their chops with a large haddock I would give this book 5 stars, but mostly, Dale is beating up on authors I haven t read and now have no intention of reading, so it s mostly somebody else s beautifully invectivised argument The authors here dissected, fillete [...]

  3. A nasty, boring book in which someone whose talent appears to have sputtered out years previously, attempted to gain some notoriety by taking a hatchet to the work of others Sour grapes much, Dale At least Jonathan Franzen has some talent to back up his obnoxious public persona With this author there s all the obnoxiousness and very little talent.

  4. For the most part, Dale Peck is a smart reader and a fluent writer I like a bold opinion and I love a withering screed Several of the targets of Peck s criticism I m looking at you Sven Birkerts and Stanley Crouch are overdue for a take down and, uncharitable blowhards themselves, they ll get no crocodile tears from me But the net result of reading these relentlessly nasty reviews in a collection was a dislike of Dale Peck that grew with each essay I guess it s like comic relief in a thriller th [...]

  5. I don t have much patience for pompous blowhards Pompous blowhard, thy name is Dale Peck.Are there some valid points made in this book Yes, some That being said, I have far respect when the opinions come from someone who has talent that outshines those who are the subject of the harsh criticism Peck is not even close It s as though a man who has crafted an adequate stained glass window turns around and starts screaming at the ghost of Louis Comfort Tiffany for producing schlock Sorry, Mr Peck, [...]

  6. While it s wrong to laud a critic merely for agreeing with me, that s what I m going to do.Peck doesn t really assert these points so much as posit them on his way to dismember his contemporaries, but since I find them excellent literary axioms, I ll repeat them James Joyce s collection Dubliners particularly the story The Dead is one of the best in the prose fiction canon, but by Ulysses he is setting a pretty poor example Thomas Pynchon is undeniably a fantastic writer but his his novels don t [...]

  7. There is some truth to Peck s claim that his critics are interested in the possibility of a brawl than in what he has to say about today s fiction Reviewers say they can t fathom how the highly regarded author of the novel Now It s Time to Say Goodbye and What We Lost, the story of his father s 1950s childhood, has the audacity to vilify his colleagues Although reviewers feel scandalized, disgusted, or fascinated by his sweeping condemnations is Rick Moody really the worst writer of his generat [...]

  8. It seems to me that there are two strains of literature currently in vogue what I have referred to recherch postmodernism and recidivist realism and both of them, in my opinion, suck, writes Dale Peck As one reads contemporary novelists, one can t shake the feeling that they write for one another rather than some or less common reader Their prose shares a showiness that speaks of solidarity and competition I certainly don t disagree with his conclusions that much of current fiction is highly un [...]

  9. He really dislikes some of the authors I like DFW and Jonathan Franzen , but Peck has a sharp critical eye and a very engaging caustic style There is a very complimentary essay on Kurt Vonnegut at the end of the book, though, and that warmed my heart I m glad he doesn t hate everything.

  10. An awful bunch of tantrums, written solely to garner the author some brief attention I think he s writing teenage vampire sci fi novels now, which, enough said.

  11. Well, as my dad used to say, If you can t say something mean and funny then just say something mean Dale Peck works that maxim all the way to the bitter end.

  12. Some readers have complained that this aptly titled work isn t as meaningful or useful as B R Myers A READER S MANIFESTO and I agree, but I still enjoy Peck s eviscerations of what passes for contemporary American literature The one recent book he discusses that I ve read, Sven Birkerts GUTENBERG ELEGIES, I liked than he did but I have no problem taking his word for how awful most of the others are In my view, Peck runs into trouble when he attempts a deeper analysis of what went wrong with fic [...]

  13. I read this book because I dislike most contemporary literary fiction So does this author So I was hoping that I would learn about why I hate most novels published within the last few years Unfortunately these essays are mostly bitter, mean, and stupid, which is a shame, because many of them contain well reasoned investigations of various authors.The best essay was, to me, a sort of elegy for Kurt Vonnegut which is strange, because he wasn t dead when this was published I completely agreed with [...]

  14. A mildly interesting bunch of essays and reviews that certainly takes no quarter with their topics He doesn t like much, and is generally clear about why he doesn t His picking apart of the opening of the Jim Crace novel is done much like an English teacher would, to show that the writing just doesn t make much sense His high opinion of Vonnegut is a bit odd to me, and I think he misses the point of the narration of American Pastoral, but what he says about Jamaica Kincaid, Terry McMillan and Sa [...]

  15. Don t read this and then try to write anything, ever.The first piece is hilarious, a long deserved crucifixion of the unconscionably boring Sven Birkerts but then I stopped laughing when I hit the subsequent reviews, in which he CARVES INTO Wallace, Franzen, Moody, DeLillo, et al Oh, and Joyce And Faulkner.Also, for someone who s so high and mighty about English syntax, he can at times write confusingly There are oddly murky places in the prose, in sharp contrast to the sizzling lacerating wit w [...]

  16. I just finished reading this for the second time For people who pay attention, Peck made a huge name for himself a few years ago when he starting swinging like crazy at writers he thought were wasting their talent, including his infamous line about Rick Moody being the worst writer of his generation I like him because, like James Wood, he actually cares about what s going on with books, not just getting a paycheck for writing his essay This is one of those collections that add up to a mission st [...]

  17. This is an entertaining and lucid collection of book reviews from a thoughtful, talented writer Particularly amusing are the reviews in which Peck critiques Jonathan Franzen, David Foster Wallace and the other pretentious hacks who regularly receive critical fellatio from the rest of the literary establishment Dale Peck does engage in hyperbole for dramatic effect, but most of these are considered and astute perspectives, the title notwithstanding.

  18. Not only does Peck review books, providing criticism and analysis, but he criticizes critics and reviews book reviews.Hehe.He says nasty things about writers and reviewers Tehe.It s all very rousing and silly in an entertaining way Plus it s short and small and fits in the front pocket of my brown corduroy jacket.

  19. Dale Peck has not really taught me anything about literature, but could write a damn monograph for OUP about the value of self promoting bitchery Bonus points David Foster Wallace, you can now sleep easy, because you have just been READ.

  20. I never really read lit crit or reviews but I find Dale Peck hilarious and often spot on So hit me.

  21. i laughed out loud throughout it s the antidote to acclaimed and terrible contemporary writers.

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