Janet Maslin: Abdicating Her Critical Faculties One Review at a Time

Slushpile has dug up further evidence of Janet Maslin’s critical inadequacies, as evidenced by this review of John Leake’s Entering Hades. Apparently, the fact that Michael Connelly did not give the book a blurb is reason enough to quibble with it. In fact, I’m wondering why Maslin didn’t just throw the book in the fireplace and devote her 900 words to qualities that had nothing to do with the book. What of John Leake’s pronounced fro or the fact that he sits with his arms crossed, but doesn’t appear intense enough in his author photo? (For Christ’s sake, he wears sandals! Well, that’s two strikes against the book, I’m afraid.) This is the news that’s fit to print in the dailies these days. Reading the New York Times‘s daily book coverage makes me so disheartened that I’d rather watch Michiko and Maslin in a nude mud wrestling match. That’s hardly my first choice of perverse entertainment, mind you, but I dredge this conceptual horror from my unwholesome imagination in order to make a larger point about journalistic integrity.


  1. “Reading the New York Times’s daily book coverage makes me so disheartened that I’d rather watch Michiko and Maslin in a nude mud wrestling match.”

    This comment is nothing more than juvenile and misogynistic. Way to go, buddy.

    Come on. You’re better than this.

  2. NM: Thank you very much for addressing your concerns. I’ve spent the morning and much of the afternoon hating women, and I plan to continue practicing this recently discovered misogyny well until bedtime. Thank you for revealing to my readers just what happens behind-the-scenes here at Reluctant. It’s become a veritable women-hating bonanza, starting, of course, with my deliberate inversion of nude mud wrestling, previously the sole domain of younger women, but now extending, without any specific consideration for age or gender, to the likes of daily NYT literary critics. That Maslin and Kakutani happen to be middle-aged and female was not really much on my mind. Until you brought it up. So today, the women-hating has begun in earnest. If I can find a Hooter’s restaurant for dinner to consummate this new spirit, I will dutifully report my spiritual reawakening here.

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