Snark redux

Well, I’ve become a bug on the windscreen of the publishing mobile. Kevin’s posting about snark from Maud and Emma Garman by way of Maud..from CAAF…wait a minute this is Genesis.

Yesterday I posted a review of Ian Rankin’s Witch Hunt. That was before I read the aforementioned post about snark. It was also before I realized that the novel I’d reviewed was released in the UK in 1993. Ian Rankin used a nomme de plume and the ARC arrived without a press kit to alert me to the novel’s prior release.

Back to Emma Garman. Her thesis is that “the boldly negative critique may be the only weapon available for stemming the tide of mediocre writing offered by the corrupt book publishing industry and its shadowy ally, the creative writing program.” Wow. It never occurred to me that this was in fact a work created much earliaer in Ian Rankin’s career. If I had known that, my tke on this novel would have been different.

We all know what a training novel is. Only loved ones are exposed to them, a brutal irony if ever there was one. Why Little Brown decided to publish this particular novel without the author applying his current skills to the manuscript is a puzzle wrapped in a mystery inside an enigma. Could it have been rushed to press to capitalize on Mr. Rankin’s popularity? Could the watchers on the beach have spotted the alien periscope and rushed to ring the church bell? Sure. Instead, we baked cookies.

When Spiro Agnew was indicted for using his office as governor of Maryland to collect kickbacks on road construction, his defense was basically this: why else would we build a road no one wants? Perhaps in the sweep of history Spiro’s Law now applies to just about everything.