Lev Grossman

If you’re coming to this website for the first time because of the Time article, welcome. Please feel free to leave comments, bop around the archives, and, if you have about three days of spare time, check out The Bat Segundo Show, a literary podcast featuring interviews with today’s contemporary writers.

Yes, I’m aware of Lev Grossman’s essay. And I actually think his article is very fair and reasonable. But I should point out three things: (1) Edward Champion is my real name, (2) Contrary to my criticisms, I don’t think Lev Grossman is a complete tool nor a total chickenhead. (3) I am actually getting paid for my review coverage. (See, most recently, the Philadelphia Inquirer.)

In any event, as an olive branch to Lev, he’ll be getting something nice from me soon. And I will try in the future to paint less of a Manichean picture of the man.


  1. The internet is a funny place.

    Right now it looks like Lev’s site is ranked higher than yours in google, but by writing an article complaining about you and that your blog is often ranked higher than his, he’s probably ensured that your site will be indeed be ranked higher.

    I never knew that aspiring superheroes give links to the blogs of their mortal enemies.

    Anyway I like your posts.

  2. I thought Lev’s article was funny and generous. Although, to be fair, he seems not to consider the possibility that he might actually *be* a tool or a chickenhead. How often we neglect the most obvious answer to the questions that bedevil us!

    Just as an aside, it seems to me that to emphasize the fact that one gets paid, is to set a rather low threshhold for success where arts and culture are concerned.

    But I can afford to be an idealist, because I don’t get paid. There’s a paradox for you.

  3. Those of us who have been fans since practically the dawn of the Internet and Ed’s Internet Reviews, know Ed Champion is a real name. Perhaps, being a journalist, Mr. Grossman could have researched this? It seems easy enough to find out…

  4. Why is the concept of criticism so alien to these print journalists? At least he didn’t make up an alias and “defend” himself via the comment system, I hope.

  5. To drag something like this into the public eye… in a magazine that is read all over Europe and America… some people here have a lot of confidence.

  6. It is obvious that different writers will think differently. Is it really so strange that they would also criticize each other’s work (and defend themselves when criticized)? I thought Grossman’s article was balanced. He pokes fun at himself as well as Ed and is accepting about how Ed is not his only critic.

  7. yo yo yo! I like pie, so should you! Let’s eat pie! Cool!

    I have no knowledge whatsoever of what you people are up to. Feel free to delete this comment, I just had to unlease some randomness.

  8. Read the article. Googled Grossman, couldn’t find a website, but found this. I innocently thought, that I could crawl into bed, finish my glass of wine and peruse through Time beginning on the last page (which is the way I read) and drift off to sleep. Quite the little drama we have here. You guys are too much fun. And look at all the commotion you have caused! You got me out of bed and I am responding to this nonsense. Bravo, kudos and keep on keeping on.

  9. To Jeff Prufrock: Insignificant! Dammit, I’ll have you know that I am a literary blogger and Mr. Grossman is a literary critic! Clearly, we are somewhat significant people. Perhaps even more significant than Paris Hilton or Suri Cruise!

  10. I find the whole situation amusing.

    If you guys ever meet in person can you take a picture, please?


  11. Yes I came here because of said Time article. I think one of my friends may try to kill you for likening Grossman to Mr. Boll. Taking into account that Bloodrayne might possibly be his most favourite Dampire, err, Vampire, or something.

  12. Ed-

    Why — in public — “paint a picture of anybody” at all?

    Haven’t you heard “1 enemy is stronger than 1000 friends”?

    PAPOA might be the dimmest bulb of all in human relationships.

    What’s the real reason you smeared Lev, at all?



  13. I am here because of the Time article.

    I’m enjoying the blog too. I suppose it will now be one of the ones I check daily.

    good show.

  14. Well, seeing as i am only a freshly proclaimed teenager and i dont know much about your blog (or you for that fact) i think that the TIME article was funny and not offense. Mind you, thats what i, a lil 13 year old, has to say but nonetheless i didnt find the article that offense- maybe you two should try to meet odds end (or am i saying the wrong metaphor?) and just keep a, at least, nuetural relationship. But then again, what do i know! Sorry for the spelling errors (im sure there has to be a few dozen in there) and thanks for reading my comment!


  15. i had to find an essay to write about in my english class and his was the one i wrote about. ive never had more fun reading an essay in my life. I figured “Hey! I did a project on them i might as well talk to them” so just wanted to say Hi. Because of the comments u made about Lev…they got me an A.

  16. Dude,

    Time Magazine.

    The ultimate in Blogspots where it wasn’t a story about a blogger being sacked for Blogging.


    But be nice.

    (The basket – a nice touch – did you get the idea from the Larry Sander’s Show?)

  17. “Insignificant people fighting irrelevant wars…” Jeff Prufrock is the one who should be published in TIME.

  18. Just finished Lev Grossman’s piece in Time.

    And I must say, Mr. Champion, I find your response to it unsatisfyingly wimpy. Yes, that’s right. With a capital W. Sure, some might say you are instead displaying an admirable innate sense of decency and civility but I throw my arms (well-toned if I say so myself) out in exasperation and beg to differ.

    Didn’t you get it? Any preceding compliments he threw your way in his column were all there merely to soften you up for what was to be the blow of the final line.

    “Except that I’m getting paid for this.”

    This line was intended to destroy you — so to speak.

    And that is why it must be challenged. With a duel at sunrise, at the very least.

    But, sigh, it looks as if I am the one who will have to do it.

    Okay then, here goes….

    Hey, Lev Grossman. Mr. Big Shot. Mr. “Except that I’m getting paid for this” Big Shot.

    Except that you’re getting paid for this?

    Well apparently…smirk… not that much!!
    **Cough…Brooklyn apartment…Cough**
    (info from your “bridge and tunnel” website)

    Okay, duel over. My work is done.

    (Sorry L. Grossman. I was just using pretension to fight pretension.)

  19. I failed to understand what the beef between you two. I am Time reader, so l happen to bump into this back page essay which was written brillintly but not making sense personally to me. Grossman invited us to check your website but still cannot me head or tail. Highlight this lost eager to know whats behind the scenes.

  20. Well, I will confess I found you through “My Mortal Enemy” in Time.
    I am a fan of Lev Grossman and I was prepared to be insulted by the man who insulted one of my favorites.
    BUT-you handled the matter like a gentleman and guess what?
    I like your blog and have bookmarked your site for further enjoyment.

  21. If truth be told Lev Gsossman’s “My Mortal Enemy” in Time one of the funniest pieces i’ve read and that’s how i found you.Your dry sarcastic wit is truly appreciated, way to go Ed!! (if that’s your name)

  22. i read that article. what was that about and what’s it got to do with me & the rest of the world? i’m amazed that someone’s actually getting paid to write stuff like that…


    in my native tounge, his would be a simple case of “ang pikon, talo” [who loses his cool, loses]…

  23. wow. so filipino, that Penny.
    anyway, im a Time subscriber and, yep, that’s what led me here.
    i actually had my english class check out grossman’s essay for leisure reading, and they found all those ad hominem quite appaling yet cool all the same

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *