Friday, 1 October 2004

Talk about put downs

Apparently, there's something called the Page-50 Club for people who have never been able to get past the first 50 pages of a Rushdie book.
Mid-Day asked a few authors "Which book have you abandoned and why?"
One wonders whether the question was framed in a rather more, you know leading way, considering that Rushdie popped up in quite a few responses. (Perhaps a certain author who has been known to comment on these pages could throw some light on that, considering she was one of the respondents?)
Anyway, they spoke with Mala Sen, Anurag Mathur, Ashok Banker, Manjula Padma, Anita Nair, Ruskin Bond,Sagarika Ghosh, Shobhaa De, Amitava Kumar, Farrukh Dhondy, Manil Suri, Ardeshir Vakil, and Ramachandran Guha.


Marginalien said...

Yes indeedy -- I believe I can satisfy your curiosity on that score. I have no idea what I was quoted saying -- I sent in my response by e-mail, but I find that's no guarantee of accuracy. Sometimes edit-teams add in whatever they wish and other times they present a response with a spin that negates that actual words of the response. So ... who knows? I know I didn't mention the Big R. I may be able to dig up the actual question ... gimme a second while I dig ...Here it is:

Dear Ms Padmanabhan,
In Sunday Mid Day (a Bombay-based paper) this week, we’re doing an article on books that were impossible to finish. For that we are talking to Indian authors
and authors of Indian descent. We would love to know from you,
A) Which was the one book you could not finish?
B) At which point did you stop? Either chapter or page number.

And here's what I said:

Dear X,
Thanks for your query. It's kind of a problem to say
which book I couldn't finish, because (a) I frequently
begin books which I don't read till the end (b)
sometimes have to read books that I don't want to
read, in order to write a review. (c) I frequently
read several books at once so it doesn't mean much if
I don't finish something right away. (d) I have
sometimes put down a book and taken it up again
several years later.

So what I'll do is offer you a recent example of a
book that I didn't finish -- My Name Is Red by Orhan
Pamuk -- but I fully expect to get back to it some
time later. I don't have the book with me at the
moment, so I can't tell you where I stopped.

Thanks again, M

zigzackly said...

Hm. They do seem to have taken a liberty of two, then, but haven't put any spin on it. i quote: "My Name Is Red by Orhan Pamuk – because I was being constantly distracted – it’s the kind of book that needs to be read all at one go or not at all. I fully expect to get back to it some time later."

Marginalien said...

-- ah -- I think there was a phone call to ask for a specific reason why I stopped reading "My Name ..." at which time I made the remark about it needing to be read all at once or whatever. So ... no distortions, praise be.

Good luck, BTW, with your competition.