Hatchet Job of the Year Award shortlist announced


15 January 2014
imports_WRI_0-vadkoshx-100000_07493.jpg Hatchet Job of the Year Award shortlist announced
Eight savage book reviews are in contention for The Onmivore's annual award for the most scathing critique ...
Eight savage book reviews are in contention for The Omnivore's annual award for the most scathing critique
Frederic Raphael makes the shortlist twice, both as critic and the object of a reviewer's scorn.
The shortlist is:
Craig Brown on Distant Intimacy: A Friendship in the Age of the Internet, Frederic Raphael and Joseph Epstein (The Mail on Sunday)
'Anyone unfamiliar with the literary world will, I think, be astonished at the ease with which these grand old men of letters turn into queeny old hairdressers, furiously bitching about their younger, prettier or more highly regarded rivals.'
Rachel Cooke on Strictly Ann: The Autobiography, Ann Widdecombe (the Observer)
'Her memoirs bear a strong resemblance to her paso doble: no rhythm, no beauty, no humour and, above all, no feeling.'
Lucy Ellmann on Worst. Person. Ever., Douglas Coupland (the Guardian)
'The race is now on to write the Worst. Book. Ever. And this may be it.'
AA Gill on Autobiography, Morrissey (The Sunday Times)
'Putting it in Penguin Classics doesn’t diminish Aristotle or Homer or Tolstoy; it just roundly mocks Morrissey.'
•  Peter Kemp on The Goldfinch, Donna Tartt (The Sunday Times)
'The Goldfinch is a turkey.'
Frederic Raphael on A Delicate Truth, John le Carré (TLS)
'Le Carré affects, as so often, to be making daring revelations about How Things Really Work. In the clever process, he stretches his thrills with mixed clichés, idiosyncratic phrases (can people “go faint at the knees”?) and witless dialogue whaleboned with 'he retorted stiffly' and the like."'
•  David Sexton on The Luminaries, Eleanor Catton (London Evening Standard)
'I [first] read about 150 pages and gave up in exasperation at its conceit and verbosity and got someone else to review it...'
Hedley Twiddle on The Last Train to Zona Verde, Paul Theroux (New Statesman)
'The rhetoric is so offensive and plain bizarre to anyone making her or his life in "Africa" that I had no option but to pretend that we were in a different genre, to keep imagining the book as a comic novel with a deliberately unlikeable narrator ...'
'Hatchet Job of the Year is a crusade against dullness, deference and lazy thinking,' said The Omnivore. 'It rewards critics who have the courage to overturn received opinion, and who do so with style. Most of all, it is a public celebration of that most underpaid and undervalued form of journalism: the book review.'

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