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L Frank Baum’s Oz series: worth reading? 
Posted: 05 April 2013 10:20 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 16 ]
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Repeat: De gustibus non disputandum.

But I am clearly in a small minority.

an Arab friend of mine here in Israel (may he rest in peace) once said to me: “Being in a minority is harra (shit)”.  I said (sotto voce) “tell me about it”.

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Posted: 05 April 2013 02:20 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 17 ]
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I would say the the writing (in the Harry Potter series) gets better as the series progresses.  I don’t know if this is attributable to the practice effect, or Rowling targeting a less juvenile readership in the later books. I enjoyed them, but not so much that I’d press LH to try again.

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Posted: 05 April 2013 04:40 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 18 ]
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would say the the writing (in the Harry Potter series) gets better as the series progresses.  I don’t know if this is attributable to the practice effect, or Rowling targeting a less juvenile readership in the later books

The mail is that she deliberately wrote them to age with her audience.

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Posted: 06 April 2013 04:49 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 19 ]
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Mail?

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Posted: 06 April 2013 06:37 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 20 ]
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Sorry, it’s an Australianism. “The mail is that” basically means “It is said that”.

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Posted: 06 April 2013 10:14 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 21 ]
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The mail is that she deliberately wrote them to age with her audience.

I’m aware of that, but “written for a younger audience” does not have to mean “more poorly written”, although it sometimes has that effect.

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Posted: 06 April 2013 01:13 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 22 ]
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Yes, if what Doc says about the improving writing is true (and I’m certainly happy to take his word for it), I think it can probably be ascribed to her having learned how to write as she went along.

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Posted: 07 April 2013 12:36 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 23 ]
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Well I suppose that would make sense too.

Then again, how many poorly written novels sold over 50 million copies?
(Answer: probably some...)

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Posted: 07 April 2013 03:44 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 24 ]
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Fifty Shades of Grey immediately springs to mind. So do the collected works of Dan Brown. There is no correlation between good writing and sales.

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Posted: 07 April 2013 06:36 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 25 ]
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Yes, I’m pretty sure the number of people who read for good writing is smaller by orders of magnitude than the number who read for an engaging story (or because everybody else is reading the same thing).  Lolita is one of the best-written books of the twentieth century, but that’s not why it was a best seller.

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Posted: 07 April 2013 06:54 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 26 ]
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But I am clearly in a small minority.

It’s getting bigger…

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