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This blog contains book reviews, comments on interesting things and a smattering of self promotion. Enjoy.

Also, check out my mission to listen to 200 years worth of 'songs named after dates' here.

Tuesday, 30 March 2010

Some Complaints and a Challenge.

Wolverhampton is probably not in the running to be the next European city of culture. It's not a complete cultural wasteland, it has a pretty good art gallery , a decent theatre and some good live music venues. The local Waterstone's however is really letting the side down.

I've talked before about the Waterstone's in Birmingham. There are two of them in the city centre, the one in the beautiful old bank building and the one that's near the Pavilions, which has a larger than usual selection of poetry, drama, philosophy etc.

The Waterstone's in Wolverhampton on the other hand is a different matter, although this possibly says more about smaller Waterstone's stores than it does about Wolves. I went in looking for Waverley by Sir Walter Scott, which is on my reading list for Romantic Century. They didn't have it. In fact they didn't have anything at all by Walter Scott; the 'classics section' was only given one small section of shelves, and at least three of those were entirely taken up by Dickens. I like Dickens, but he could have some room for everyone else.

Of course, being me, I decided to explore the rest of the shop. It had no Scott, and no Byron, but it had four different books 'by' Jordan. I think that about sums up the situation. This shop had no room for one of the most famous poets ever, but could find room for the novels of a woman whose biggest claim to fame is having cartoon knockers, and whose only discernible talent is showing them off.

You may be wondering why I put the word 'by' in inverted comas like that. I once read (I think mainly out of morbid curiosity) an interview with Jordan in the Metro, in which she revealed her... method for writing novels. Basically, she comes up with the idea for a plot and then the novel is ghost written. To me this seems to be a similar process to celebrity endorsed perfumes or clothing lines, where you know that they had very little input and are more or less just a brand.

If Katie Price wants to defend herself from this statement, I suggest she gets in touch, and she can do so by way of a short story competition. All in favor say 'aye'.

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