What Don and I were responding to was the notion that a novel, especially one as good as SAVAGES, is a " bid for attention" rather than a work of fiction--or, to get lofty, literature. And it had the feel of a sideways jab at genre writers, who Maslin seemed to suggest aren't truly serious (even though she reviews a fair number of them), and I thought Don in particular deserved to be regarded more highly than that. As though she pictured Don jumping up and down, waving his arms, saying "Look at me." That's so contrary to Don's nature and purpose it just frosted my butt.
It also seemed to suggest Don's style was manufactured simply to grab the reader in some kind of flashy way. Maybe some writers do that, but Don isn't one of them. You read all his books, you see the style growing and maturing -- but more importantly, you see it changing to suit his purpose and the material. Don works hard on his books and thinks deeply about them. He's an artist, not a glutton for the limelight. I didn't think Maslin's remark gave him sufficient credit in that regard.
In short, it seemed a little snotty -- but who else but writers deconstruct reviews to this degree? Maybe this says a hell of a lot more about me than Janet Maslin.
> david c., as far as the Maslin quote, do you think she meant it negatively? as opposed to meaning that this is his best yet and most likely to be a big seller?
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