Friday, June 06, 2008

NY Times Book descriptions

Cory Doctorow's latest book, "Little Brother" is currently number nine on New York Times top ten best sellers of children's chapter books. Good on him! I liked what I had heard about it from BoingBoing.net and on Wil Wheaton's blog and I plan on reading it when I finish "Overclocked".

When I read the NY Times description of "Little Brother," it gave me a bit of a laugh: "A teenage hacker takes on the government after a terrorist attack turns America into a police state." That is a heavy topic for young adult fiction. Though reading the synopsis of some of the other top ten books surprised me further. "Tweak" is "a memoir of a teenager’s methamphetamine addiction." "Thirteen Reasons why" is summed as follows: "before committing suicide, a girl sends explanatory audiotapes to 13 people." This is much meatier stuff than I grew up reading. I was scared I'd get in shit if I brought books like this home. "Why can't you read nice books" my mother would wail.

Moving on, I see that "Indian Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull" is full of" "Archaeological derring-do; a movie tie-in." Fair enough. but hold your ponies. "The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian" is a tale where "The Pevensies return to Narnia; a movie tie-in." This is listed as a paperback, which should remove the possibility of the list being on of those dumbed down picture books that are in fact move tie-ins.

C.S. Lewis did not pen "a movie tie-in." I haven't even read any of the Narnia series beyond "The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe" and have several philosophical differences with the author, but I don't think his work should be summed up as mere movie tie-in, no matter how good the films are.

1 comment:

iRob said...

I've been thinking of picking this up. I read tons about it on BoingBoing (Etc) but since the Onion AV club gave it a good review as well I figured it was worth a try.