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November 20, 2008 | Comments ()


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The Five Most Obnoxious Literary Fads

A Seriously Random List XXVI / Dustin Rowles

Seriously Random Lists | November 20, 2008 | Comments ()


HarryPotterL_468x456.jpg5. Harry Potter, by J.K. Rowling. I, like almost every other person in human existence, have read the entire Harry Potter series. And I, like almost every other person in human existence, enjoyed the Harry Potter series. But the level of obsession, the waves wrought by the series, and the overall Pottermania that invaded our culture was unwarranted for a series of largely repetitive books that were no better or worse than your average kid’s fantasy literature. It would’ve been one thing if the Potter books actually encouraged overall reading in adolescents, but unfortunately, that love of reading never actually extended past the Harry Potter books. And at a certain level, the only reason so many kids were reading Harry Potter was because of the social pressure to do so. It was a literary fad that, for some children, made reading a goddamn chore. Harry Potter’s saving grace: It was a fun series to read.

bridgetjonesdiary.jpg4. Bridget Jones, by Helen Fielding. This is another series of books that I actually did read and was somewhat amused by. However, the tenuous association to Pride and Prejudice notwithstanding, the Bridget Jones series is also largely responsible for the growth of the chick-lit industry, and there is nothing redeeming about that, unless you like female stereotypes, an illiberal view of singledom, and the harsh view the Bridget Jones series had on unmarried, career women: They’re funny and zany, but ultimately, sad-sack losers in search of happiness only a man can bring. Bitch, please.

svh1-03.jpg3. Sweet Valley High. I was both too young and not a teenage girl to appreciate — or rather, loathe — the Sweet Valley High series, which began in 1983 and spawned 150 books written by various authors. But I’m pretty sure that if I were of age, I would’ve hated Sweet Valley High and all the tweenagers obsessed with them. Weren’t they about skinny high school girls who always got the prom king or something? I officially despise them based on principle alone.

DaVinciCodeHanks_special.jpg2. Da Vinci Code. God, what a terrible book. Soft-boiled Jesus pulp, horribly written mass-market pablum swallowed up by huge swaths of America, many of whom considered it serious literature and mistook it, to some degree, as fact. Worse still, this trifle — this silly little book — actually created enough controversy to piss off the Church. Hell, not only did the Da Vinci Code inspire a copycat industry of religious fakery disguised as mystery, it spawned another genre of books written to refute The Da Vinci Code. Also, for — like, a year — you couldn’t walk in a bookstore without bumping into one of these goddamn books. Hell. Tom Hank’s hairstyle in the movie is reason enough to detest The Da Vinci Code and its sequel, Angels and Demons.

twilightdadsfads.jpg1. Twilight. In high school, I was into the gothy, bookwork chicks — the kind that’d you’d find huddled in a corner of the cafeteria reading (these women, unfortunately, were more myth than reality. But, I loved the idea of them). But there’s a new, weird strain of that tween-age girl that irks me to no end, the one in the college hoodie with her nose stuck in a Twilight book during dinner with her family at Applebees. I haven’t read any of the Twilight books (though, I’ve read enough reviews on this site to get the gist), but these fake suburban goth tweens annoy the hell out of me, and I can’t help but feel that the Twilight books are grooming teenage girls into sexually-frustrated middle-aged women. And you know what? I like vampires. I like werewolves. And I hate to see them used as vehicles for a tweeny, soft-core romance. Come the fuck on: A vegetarian vampire? And Isabella Swan. Give me a break.If you’re gonna have a vampire love story, let’s at least see some vampire double-backing.




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