A few weeks ago, Steve Mitchelmore raised a provocative point about Suite Française, suggesting that the novel’s glowing reception had more to do with its origins, as opposed to its qualities as a novel. This led to a backblog battle between Steve and a certain literary guy in Oakland.
Now Mark Thwaite has stepped in and sides with Steve, pointing to Kaszuo Ishiguro’s blurb mentioning the “story behind the novel.” Given that Ishiguro devoted a mere fifty-one words to his blurb, I don’t believe this is entirely fair, particularly since he confined the historical context to the second of his two sentences.
Further, both Mark and Steve have dismissed the book without even bothering to examine its contents. Which strikes me as a bit ironic. If the talk should be centered on the book and the book alone, shouldn’t Mark and Steve live up to their own pledges and offer criticism after they’ve read the book?