I’m a Novelist, Not A _______

While we’re on the subject of what authors are up, I should note that Mark Haddon has a small chapbook of poetry coming out in April (already out in the UK). Proving to the world that Haddon will likely specialize in extremely long titles until the critical interest grows inflexible, this one’s called The Talking Horse and the Sad Girl and the Village Under the Sea. But the consensus indicates that it’s not so hot. Ranjit Bolt says, “[N]othing could prepare us for the tendentiousness, the unjustified formlessness, the ghastliness, of Haddon’s verse.” Neel Mukherjee of the Times is more encouraging: “If only his muse didn’t fall into the jerky stop-start motion of a nightmarish traffic jam on the M23, and he loosened his lines to let them breathe more.”

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