Author Topic: The Big Read.  (Read 4228 times)

Offline Wayne Mook

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The Big Read.
« on: December 16, 2003, 10:57:35 am »
Ok people what did you make of this.

Lord Of The Rings Number 1.

The countries favourite book.

the big shock for many was the number 3. philip Pullman's His Dark Materials.

The top 5.

2.Pride & Prejudice. Jane Austin.
3. His Dark Materials. Philip Pullman.
4. The Hitchhikers's Guide To The Galaxy. Douglas Adams.
5. Harry Potter And The Goblet of Fire. JK Rowling

Fantasy figured well. Though no person had 2 books in the top 21. JK Rowling was 22-24. So no fix there. There was alot children's books especially Fantasy. CS Lewis, Lewis Carroll and Wind in the Willows. Terry Pratchett did not make the top 50, but had 5 in the top 100 (Only Dickens matched that) and a further 10 in the next 100 (Only childs author Jacqueline Wilson matched that), so had the most books in the top 200. It was nice to see Gormanghast at 83 and Feist's The Magician at 89. From 100 to 200 there is little if you take out Pratchett there is little fantasy. The Once and Future King creeps in at 198.

Horror is poorly shown, Roald Dahl does not count. In the top 100 there are few gothic tales, Wuthering Heights (12) and Rebecca (14) and some literature titles; Fowles' The Magus (67) & Lord of the flies (70). King makes a it to 53 for The Stand. Outside the 100 we have lit. and classics again. Dracula (104), Banks' The Wasp Factory (108), The Picture of Dorian Gray (118), The Hound of the Baskervilles (128), Bulgakov's The Master and Margarita (130), Heart of darkness (158 - can I include this?), and Frankenstein (171). Only 3 known Horror authors get in. Stephen King again, It (144) and The Green Mile (146), RL Stine (188 - do you get the feeling lots of schools joined in?) and Virginia Andrews' Flowers in the Attic (200). It was just beaten by The Very Hungry Caterpillar, now there's a book.

I guess Day of the Triffids (120) could go in SF or Horror.

Talking of SF Hitcher's at 5 is good but  Nineteen Eighty Four (8), Dune (39), Brave New World (87) is a poor showing in the 100. The Handmaid's Tale (131) Atwood refuses the label SF, though it is and Wells' The War of the World (194).

It could be argued that SF is younger than Horror, but the baby of the family Fantasy is the leader. So SF poor showing is worrying as is the Horror show. With Dahl and RL Stine in there it shows there is a place in children lives for the darker stuff, but the adult stuff seems to be slipping. The lack of James Herbert is worrying, in fact the lack of horror in many bookshops is sad.


Offline Stephen Palmer

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« Reply #1 on: December 16, 2003, 07:26:19 pm »
The comments that really caught my ear were about the surprise of HDM being number 3 - it hasn't been filmed yet. The others are up there via non-reading means, it is suggested. Reports say sales of the film/dvd versions of the top books are up 10x compared to the increase in sales of same books. Reading is dead?


Stephen Gallagher

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The Big Read.
« Reply #2 on: December 27, 2003, 10:08:32 am »
Reading clearly isn't dead, but it has become part of a complex dynamic where it can no longer exist completely independently in most readers' minds, much as it becomes hard to give a 'clean' listen to a song once you've seen it with its video.

I tended to avoid the whole Big Read shebang, mostly because of the predictable whining from the usual suspects (Greer and co) about the merits of the various titles. It was about 'best loved', not 'best' - merit never entered into it.

Offline Wayne Mook

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The Big Read.
« Reply #3 on: December 27, 2003, 11:08:26 am »
His Dark Materials has been on radio. What can I say.

One of the problems is most of the people have been voting on line. A lot of people I know who read avoid the net, as well as TV. it show that a lot of the votes have come from schools. The net is still a middle class reserve.

In many ways these shows are not about reading. They are an apology for reading.

The whole reading review fraternity are snobs of the highest stupidity. Meaningless boring books about nothing.

The Sunday Times has the bestseller list but it never reviews in depth the books on the list. It will review their friends book on hotair and mediocre poets that no one cares about. If the film section only wrote on arthouse films from Central Europe no one would read it. Film whatever is a populist programme so why aren't reading programmes?

James Herbert brought out his first book in ages. Where were the interviews, the big articles? I almost missed it appearing. He is one of our best selling authors. The Sun could have done a splash on the new horror. Lets face it a lot of media including publishing are owned be the same people. Why not cross plug more. I think if there is room for a magnetic screwdriver there is room for Best sellers at least.

No reading is not dead just ignored. Look at the number of secondhand stalls etc.