C. S. Lewis Was a Bad Writer? Now That’s Fiction

 

I enjoy listening to Andrew Klavan – when he had a daily podcast on Ricochet I listened almost every day. His reflections on Trump through the last few years have often mirrored my own, appreciating the many unexpectedly good policy decisions the man made, while being quite critical of the man’s character. Klavan is often insightful on matters of culture and faith, and I was encouraged by his memoir, The Great Good Thing: A Secular Jew Comes to Faith in Christ. He is also very, very funny.

But I have never cared for him as a fiction writer. I struggled all the way through his novel Empire of Lies. The characters never came alive to me; they were rather cardboard spokespeople for points about the mainstream media’s attacks on Christians and conservatives. I’ve tried to read a number of his other novels, but they’ve never captured me. (Including Werewolf Cop, and believe me, it takes a lot to make me put down a book about werewolves. The idea of crime-solving wolf man was done much better in Nicolas Pekearo’s The Wolfman.)

As far as his screenwork, I very much enjoyed A Shock to the System. It’s a clever, cynical thriller with Michael Caine, but it is based on someone else’s novel. I haven’t seen One Missed Call, but Klavan says that the screenplay was butchered by the director. I have seen True Crime, a Clint Eastwood film based on a Klavan novel, but I don’t think there are many Eastwood fans that would find a place for that film in Clint’s top twenty.

I tried to listen to Another Kingdom, but I found it hackneyed and derivative and couldn’t make it through more than a few episodes. At his best, I found Klavan’s fiction to be second-rate John Grisham. (Grisham also often inserts his politics – liberal – and Christian faith into his work.)

That is why I found it so very strange, and frankly annoying, when Klavan dismisses the novels of C. S. Lewis as “bad Christian fiction” as he did (again) in a recent podcast

Believe me, I have suffered through plenty of Bad Christian Fiction. I just finished seven years of writing Movie Churches, a blog reviewing churches and clergy in films, and I watched plenty of bad, including all four God’s Not Dead films and the entire oeuvre of Alex Kendrick (Facing the Giants, Fireproof, War Room, Courageous, and on and on). In this kind of work, hard truths are often not addressed, happy endings are assured, and characters are either saints or mustache-twirling villains. As Klavan says, if people enjoy these films and novels, fine, but the movies and novels aren’t good art.

But I would argue that Klavan’s fiction shares many of these weaknesses, and C.S. Lewis’ does not. In the recent podcast, Klavan complains about that in The Chronicles of Narnia, “when the Lion appears, everything is going to be okay.” 

That is just silly. Yes, the Lion, Aslan, is a stand-in for Jesus. But His appearance doesn’t immediately make everything right.

That’s like saying, “I was reading this book, Exodus, but once this ‘God’ character appeared and parted the Red Sea, I lost interest. If God can solve all the problems, why keep reading?”  If you stop at that point in the book, you miss the rather interesting plot point that after seeing the power of God, most of the Israelites still rebel against God and wander around the wilderness for many years. 

As the more astute may have discerned from my Ricochet avatar (Eustace C. Scrubb), I have an affinity with Lewis’ Narnia books. We know the series was written for children, but Klavan seems to want to hold them to the standards of adult novels – which is fine, actually. I believe those seven novels stand well with any literature.

Not everything comes out swell in those tales, as things usually do in Bad Christian Fiction. For instance, let’s look at the Pevensie children, the major characters in The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe. One of the children, Edmund, commits a grave act of treachery that only can be redeemed at a great cost. We learn in a later novel that Susan Pevensie loses interest in their magical world and falls away from faith. In the last novel, her eternal destiny is still in question. 

And yes, there is resurrection in that first novel and Klavan seems to believe it away all dramatic tension. In this case, it’s like reading the Gospel of John and saying, “After reading about the resurrection of Lazarus, I quit. I mean, what were the stakes?”

The author of Miracles wouldn’t be true to his understanding of the world in his fiction if he didn’t include miracles. The author of Mere Christianity couldn’t write about a world without an incarnation. But these things don’t instantly make everything okay. After the resurrection in that first book, there is a deadly battle with consequences, pain, and death.

Lewis wrote many other works of fiction besides his children’s books. 

Till We Have Faces, a retelling of the Greek myth of Cupid and Psyche, is as far from “Bad Christian Fiction” as one can go – with no easy answers and much sin, trouble, and pain.

The Screwtape Letters is as much a book of philosophy and theology as it is of fiction, but the demon Screwtape is almost certainly a richer and fuller character than Klavan seems able to dream of creating.

Then there is Lewis’ science fiction trilogy. The first book, Out of a Silent Planet, does a marvelous work of bringing the supernatural naturally into the world of science fiction. Perelandra does a wonderful work of reimagining creation without the fall. As for the third book, That Hideous Strength

Perhaps no book better foretold the world we live in today. A world where the government, the press, and academia all work together to present a false reality to the populace in order to rule with their sinister motives.  Lewis even uses the acronym N.I.C.E. (National Institute of Coordinated Experiments) as a satiric spoof of government propaganda. Today, of course, Great Britain truly has N.I.C.E. (the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence.) 

No less a writer than George Orwell wrote favorably about That Hideous Strength but was bothered by the supernatural intrusions to the story. But could Lewis be true to his worldview without including the supernatural in the story? I don’t think so.

C.S. Lewis was one of the greatest writers of the 20th century. He wrote great works of theology, literary criticism, philosophy, and memoir. 

And he also was a great fiction writer, composing work with wit, insight, and passion.

But if you can’t appreciate his fiction, Mr. Klavan….that’s cool.

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  1. The Scarecrow Thatcher
    The Scarecrow
    @TheScarecrow

    Wow. My thoughts almost exactly. I was taken aback when he said that, too.

    I look forward to his weekly podcast with great relish and anticipation; it’s one of the highlights of my weekend. I often listen to it several more times throughout the week, because there is much richness there.

    But he’s dead wrong about Lewis.

    You and I agree completely about That Hideous Strength also.

    • #1
  2. Arahant Member
    Arahant
    @Arahant

    There are different types of writers who write for different types of people and very different audiences. What one writer might do and consider good would be wrong for a writer with a different audience. When one has become a writer and critic, it becomes harder not to notice the small things. But for each audience, there are different small things to notice. This isn’t to say that everyone who writes or has been a writing critic or participated in critiques is a good writer. But it can be strangely subjective as to what one writer goes off on or finds a problem with.

    Several years ago, probably around 2009, my wife presented me with a book she thought I would like, since it was a historical novel set in a period of interest for me. The MSM critics raved. It won awards. And I found it totally unreadable. I was ready to throw it against the wall. From my perspective it was written horribly. I tried, but I doubt I made it past ten pages or so. But many seem to think the author a wonderful writer.

    Eustace C. Scrubb: I tried to listen to Another Kingdom, but I found it hackneyed and derivative and couldn’t make it through more than a few episodes.

    All of the above said, I had a similar experience.

    • #2
  3. Marjorie Reynolds Coolidge
    Marjorie Reynolds
    @MarjorieReynolds

    The Narnia series IS very special to me too.

    My grammar!

    • #3
  4. Henry Castaigne Member
    Henry Castaigne
    @HenryCastaigne

    I liked Werewolf Cop but was quite unimpressed by The Great Good Thing.

    • #4
  5. Saint Augustine Member
    Saint Augustine
    @SaintAugustine

    Eustace C. Scrubb:

    Till We Have Faces, a retelling of the Greek myth of Cupid and Psyche, is as far from “Bad Christian Fiction” as one can go – with no easy answers and much sin, trouble, and pain.

    The Screwtape Letters is as much a book of philosophy and theology as it is of fiction, but the demon Screwtape is almost certainly a richer and fuller character than Klavan seems able to dream of creating.

    Then there is Lewis’ science fiction trilogy. The first book, Out of a Silent Planet, does a marvelous work of bringing the supernatural naturally into the world of science fiction. Perelandra does a wonderful work of reimagining creation without the fall. As for the third book, That Hideous Strength

    Perhaps no book better foretold the world we live in today. A world where the government, the press, and academia all work together to present a false reality to the populace in order to rule with their sinister motives.  Lewis even uses the acronym N.I.C.E. (National Institute of Coordinated Experiments) as a satiric spoof of government propaganda. Today, of course, Great Britain truly has N.I.C.E. (the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence.) 

    Till We Have Faces is above me.

    The Space Trilogy is magnificent.

    • #5
  6. Stina Member
    Stina
    @CM

    Arahant (View Comment):

    There are different types of writers who write for different types of people and very different audiences. What one writer might do and consider good would be wrong for a writer with a different audience. When one has become a writer and critic, it becomes harder not to notice the small things. But for each audience, there are different small things to notice. This isn’t to say that everyone who writes or has been a writing critic or participated in critiques is a good writer. But it can be strangely subjective as to what one writer goes off on or finds a problem with.

    Several years ago, probably around 2009, my wife presented me with a book she thought I would like, since it was a historical novel set in a period of interest for me. The MSM critics raved. It won awards. And I found it totally unreadable. I was ready to throw it against the wall. From my perspective it was written horribly. I tried, but I doubt I made it past ten pages or so. But many seem to think the author a wonderful writer.

    Eustace C. Scrubb: I tried to listen to Another Kingdom, but I found it hackneyed and derivative and couldn’t make it through more than a few episodes.

    All of the above said, I had a similar experience.

    Popular ravings tend to backfire for me. The DaVinci Code was not well written.

    I have a high tolerance for bad writing if the story is good and well executed. I find those to be different things.

    • #6
  7. Dunstaple Coolidge
    Dunstaple
    @Dunstaple

    I haven’t read any of Klavan’s fiction, and almost certainly won’t, now.

    C. S. Lewis is a great writer. Period. I don’t know if I’d be a Christian today, if I hadn’t read him way back when.

    • #7
  8. Flapjack Lincoln
    Flapjack
    @Flapjack

    If you have Audible and are interested in the space trilogy, it’s available for free.  Just have to download it.  

    • #8
  9. DaveSchmidt Coolidge
    DaveSchmidt
    @DaveSchmidt

    The Scarecrow (View Comment):

    Wow. My thoughts almost exactly. I was taken aback when he said that, too.

    I look forward to his weekly podcast with great relish and anticipation; it’s one of the highlights of my weekend. I often listen to it several more times throughout the week, because there is much richness there.

    But he’s dead wrong about Lewis.

    You and I agree completely about That Hideous Strength also.

    I agree. 

    • #9
  10. DaveSchmidt Coolidge
    DaveSchmidt
    @DaveSchmidt

    Dunstaple (View Comment):

    I haven’t read any of Klavan’s fiction, and almost certainly won’t, now.

    C. S. Lewis is a great writer. Period. I don’t know if I’d be a Christian today, if I hadn’t read him way back when.

    We all have blind spots. I believe that Klavan has one as far as Lewis is concerned. If I could probe a bit, it may be in part the uncritical adoration Lewis’ fans often have as obscured his vision.  

    • #10
  11. Fenmir Member
    Fenmir
    @CaitlinCameron

    Try Spencer Klavan on Young Heretics. He is a great admirer of CS Lewis and made your same point about That Hideous Strength and our current situation, carefully focusing in on one of the scenes at N.I.C.E. Of course, he’s not funny like Andrew, whose refusal to get depressed about the news has often been a helpful tonic for me, but I get a lot more out of listening to Young Heretics.

    • #11
  12. Internet's Hank Contributor
    Internet's Hank
    @HankRhody

    Eustace C. Scrubb:

    As the more astute may have discerned from my Ricochet avatar (Eustace C. Scrubb), I have an affinity with Lewis’ Narnia books. We know the series was written for children, but Klavan seems to want to hold them to the standards of adult novels – which is fine, actually. I believe those seven novels stand well with any literature.

    They’re books written for children, and in a technical sense ought to be written differently because of it. Take The Horse and His Boy for an example; if that exact story was written for adults you wouldn’t have the bits where Shasta was worrying about the morality of stealing as he escapes, and the conversation with Aslan in the mountain pass would be a lot shorter. Aslan wouldn’t flat out say they only met the one lion in their travels; that would be implied. As a technical matter the pacing is different, the drama is different, the narration is less implicit in a book written for children than for adults.

    That doesn’t mean that adults shouldn’t read kids books, and certainly there are things that adults can learn from a well written children’s book. But there’s nothing inherently wrong in saying you don’t like books of that style, or by that particular author.

    • #12
  13. Locke On Member
    Locke On
    @LockeOn

    Since I share J. R. R. Tolkien’s views on allegory, I am not a C. S. Lewis fan. I have no opinion on Klavan.

    • #13
  14. Dunstaple Coolidge
    Dunstaple
    @Dunstaple

    Locke On (View Comment):

    Since I share J. R. R. Tolkien’s views on allegory, I am not a C. S. Lewis fan. I have no opinion on Klavan.

    I don’t think any of Lewis’s writings fit the actual definition of “allegory,” and I suspect Tolkien would agree. Though he wasn’t a big fan of the Narnia books; I believe for other reasons than any allegorical flavor.

    • #14
  15. Internet's Hank Contributor
    Internet's Hank
    @HankRhody

    Lewis is a first-rate thinker but a second-rate writer. Mind you I judge second-rate stringently, in the sense that a mediocre major league baseball player will still play every position better than anyone else could at the company softball tournament. All-time leaderboards have pretty stiff competition.

    This last month, in reading The Voyage of the Dawn Treader, I noticed a line where Lewis used the wrong word. (I can’t recall the exact line right now). If Tolkien were writing that passage he would have used a different word, and it would have accomplished the exact same goal in the same style but would have fit the line better than the word Lewis used. As a technical matter Lewis had room to improve his style.

    The other example I’d use is the plot of That Hideous Strength. It’s excellent science fiction in the ideas it explores, but the plot itself? Merlin shows up and uses magic and fixes things. Mind you I’m overdue for a reread on that book so perhaps I’m judging it more harshly than it deserves, but I really don’t think the story holds up to scrutiny. When Lewis’s writing works (which is often) it’s because he’s tapped into something universal which he’s using the story to illustrate. That’s why his characters are so memorable. I don’t think he has the same facility with his plots or his poetry.

    • #15
  16. Internet's Hank Contributor
    Internet's Hank
    @HankRhody

    Eustace C. Scrubb: The author of Miracles wouldn’t be true to his understanding of the world in his fiction if he didn’t include miracles.

    This is tangential to the post in general, but while the Narnia books are chock full of magic there are actually very few miracles. I don’t think I can explain it without going on at tremendous length. In Voyage of the Dawn Treader, a man turning into a dragon is magic, but the dragon turning back into a man is a miracle. I think that’s consistent with the way Lewis uses the words in Miracles.

    • #16
  17. Internet's Hank Contributor
    Internet's Hank
    @HankRhody

    Before I naff off, Klavan’s fiction. I don’t think the quality of his writing is relevant to his criticism of Lewis’s, but as that’s the way the discussion is going here goes. I’ve read at least seven of Klavan’s novels, most in the Christian era of his writing. I hesitate to criticize them because I don’t like them all that much. If I liked them better I’d feel more comfortable that my objections were based on points of skill and not on the subject matter. 

    Taking his most recent novel, A Strange Habit of Mind, I think it’s got too many contrivances in it. The super-secret agency. The device you can use to undetectably disable a car’s steering and brakes. The magical view of computer security. The social media billionaire villain. 

    Broadly speaking (and large spoiler warning here) the plot revolves around Bryne reaching out and destroying people who get in his way. He kills the worthless drug-dealing abusive boyfriend character by telling the cartel (possibly falsely) that the kid was stealing from them. He creates a sex scandal to entrap Winter in by getting a woman to play exactly the kind of girl that’d cause a man like Winter to do something really, really stupid. He kills the French politician by stirring up a riot around him and executing him in the confusion. But the blackmailer, and eventually the attempt to kill Winter, Klavan had to invent a magical car-rigging device to get it to go. That’s a sign of shoddy workmanship. 

    Killing the drug dealer, the sex scandal thing, those work according to the internal logic of their own story. Take each one as a  micro murder mystery everything plays out reasonably. The car-rigging device is a bit of magic to get those particular murders to be done. I’m willing to play along with it because the real plot isn’t about how the murders are committed but why. (In much the same sense I find things in Lewis’ science fiction pardonable for which I’d condemn Andy Weir. Weir’s strength is in the “how” questions. He’s much weaker on the “why”, but that’s not why I read him.).

    Putting it together I think that Klavan is, at best, a second rate writer. He might be worse than that, I hesitate to judge more closely. 

    • #17
  18. Dunstaple Coolidge
    Dunstaple
    @Dunstaple

    Internet's Hank (View Comment):

    Lewis is a first-rate thinker but a second-rate writer. Mind you I judge second-rate stringently, in the sense that a mediocre major league baseball player will still play every position better than anyone else could at the company softball tournament. All-time leaderboards have pretty stiff competition.

    This last month, in reading The Voyage of the Dawn Treader, I noticed a line where Lewis used the wrong word. (I can’t recall the exact line right now). If Tolkien were writing that passage he would have used a different word, and it would have accomplished the exact same goal in the same style but would have fit the line better than the word Lewis used. As a technical matter Lewis had room to improve his style.

    The other example I’d use is the plot of That Hideous Strength. It’s excellent science fiction in the ideas it explores, but the plot itself? Merlin shows up and uses magic and fixes things. Mind you I’m overdue for a reread on that book so perhaps I’m judging it more harshly than it deserves, but I really don’t think the story holds up to scrutiny. When Lewis’s writing works (which is often) it’s because he’s tapped into something universal which he’s using the story to illustrate. That’s why his characters are so memorable. I don’t think he has the same facility with his plots or his poetry.

    The real plot in That Hideous Strength is not the science fiction-y frame. The real plot is the story of the Studdocks’ spiritual awakening. 

    • #18
  19. Hartmann von Aue Member
    Hartmann von Aue
    @HartmannvonAue

    The Scarecrow (View Comment):

    Wow. My thoughts almost exactly. I was taken aback when he said that, too.

    I look forward to his weekly podcast with great relish and anticipation; it’s one of the highlights of my weekend. I often listen to it several more times throughout the week, because there is much richness there.

    But he’s dead wrong about Lewis.

    You and I agree completely about That Hideous Strength also.

    Yeah, he is dead wrong about Lewis. That said, Lewis is a good but not perfect writer. I find Perelandra frustratingly uneven. Too much landscape description. The confrontations with “the un-man” are Lovecraft-grade-horror, though. And the idea that when “the Lion shows up, everything is alright” in the Narnia series betrays a shallow reading of …children´s books. Aslan deliberately inflicts harm on the Tarkeena at one point, if I recall, and at another, when Lucy asks him if he can make everything alright with her school friends, he says “No.”  The series even ends with the entire family dying in train wreck, when read in “event-chronological” order instead of published order. Then there´s the visit to Jadis´ homeworld in The Magician´s Nephew. More Lovecraft-grade-horror, there. And Till We Have Face presages the greatness that would be Gene Wolfe´s “Solar Cycle” in its style. Yeah, I know the former is fantasy based on Greek myth, the latter SF. My point there is on prose style, intensity of language and therefore character. l like Klavan as  commentator, but in his evaluation of Lewis, he´s dead wrong.

     

    • #19
  20. Hartmann von Aue Member
    Hartmann von Aue
    @HartmannvonAue

    Dunstaple (View Comment):

    Internet’s Hank (View Comment):

    The other example I’d use is the plot of That Hideous Strength. It’s excellent science fiction in the ideas it explores, but the plot itself? Merlin shows up and uses magic and fixes things. Mind you I’m overdue for a reread on that book so perhaps I’m judging it more harshly than it deserves, but I really don’t think the story holds up to scrutiny. When Lewis’s writing works (which is often) it’s because he’s tapped into something universal which he’s using the story to illustrate. That’s why his characters are so memorable. I don’t think he has the same facility with his plots or his poetry.

    The real plot in That Hideous Strength is not the science fiction-y frame. The real plot is the story of the Studdocks’ spiritual awakening.

    I quite agree with you on the latter point.

    About Merlin: There are several complications in his appearance. First, the villains of the piece are the ones who summon/awaken him, not the heroes. That he throws in with the heroes is a surprise to both parties- Ransom has to persuade him to intervene. Thematically it works because Ransom is the Fisher King, really, so the Arthurian heroes coming back to save Britain from the 1940s version of technofascist necromancers is a solid, modern re-working of a medieval theme that had long since been synonymous with the essence of British literature. And, it also works in the redemption of pagan cultural elements in a way reminiscent of some early medieval /late antique literature. Quite a rich banquet, that book, weaving in a lot of Lewis´ key ideas. I´d call THS his second-best piece of fiction, after Till We Have Faces.

    • #20
  21. Suspira Member
    Suspira
    @Suspira

    I have the exact opposite reaction to Klavan. I think he is smart, funny, and a real thinker, but I had to quit listening to his podcast when he boarded the Trump Train. 

    His fiction, however, I find very good. Some of the best genre fiction, in fact. And I admit not loving Lewis’s fiction. I can appreciate it to a certain extent, but can’t quite get into it. I love his nonfiction, though.

    • #21
  22. Dunstaple Coolidge
    Dunstaple
    @Dunstaple

    Hartmann von Aue (View Comment):

    The Scarecrow (View Comment):

    Wow. My thoughts almost exactly. I was taken aback when he said that, too.

    I look forward to his weekly podcast with great relish and anticipation; it’s one of the highlights of my weekend. I often listen to it several more times throughout the week, because there is much richness there.

    But he’s dead wrong about Lewis.

    You and I agree completely about That Hideous Strength also.

    Yeah, he is dead wrong about Lewis. That said, Lewis is a good but not perfect writer. I find Perelandra frustratingly uneven. Too much landscape description. The confrontations with “the un-man” are Lovecraft-grade-horror, though. And the idea that when “the Lion shows up, everything is alright” in the Narnia series betrays a shallow reading of …children´s books. Aslan deliberately inflicts harm on the Tarkeena at one point, if I recall, and at another, when Lucy asks him if he can make everything alright with her school friends, he says “No.” The series even ends with the entire family dying in train wreck, when read in “event-chronological” order instead of published order. Then there´s the visit to Jadis´ homeworld in The Magician´s Nephew. More Lovecraft-grade-horror, there. And Till We Have Face presages the greatness that would be Gene Wolfe´s “Solar Cycle” in its style. Yeah, I know the former is fantasy based on Greek myth, the latter SF. My point there is on prose style, intensity of language and therefore character. l like Klavan as commentator, but in his evaluation of Lewis, he´s dead wrong.

     

    I pretty much agree with your criticisms here. No, Lewis is not a perfect writer. But I’ll stand by my evaluation of him as a great writer; I think great writing is in general based on it’s strengths, not it’s faults.

    • #22
  23. Henry Castaigne Member
    Henry Castaigne
    @HenryCastaigne

    Suspira (View Comment):

    I have the exact opposite reaction to Klavan. I think he is smart, funny, and a real thinker, but I had to quit listening to his podcast when he boarded the Trump Train.

    His fiction, however, I find very good. Some of the best genre fiction, in fact. And I admit not loving Lewis’s fiction. I can appreciate it to a certain extent, but can’t quite get into it. I love his nonfiction, though.

    That says more about you than him.

    • #23
  24. Suspira Member
    Suspira
    @Suspira

    Henry Castaigne (View Comment):

    Suspira (View Comment):

    I have the exact opposite reaction to Klavan. I think he is smart, funny, and a real thinker, but I had to quit listening to his podcast when he boarded the Trump Train.

    His fiction, however, I find very good. Some of the best genre fiction, in fact. And I admit not loving Lewis’s fiction. I can appreciate it to a certain extent, but can’t quite get into it. I love his nonfiction, though.

    That says more about you than him.

    Of course. Reading tastes differ. But as my mother would have said, your remark was unnecessary.

    • #24
  25. Quinnie Member
    Quinnie
    @Quinnie

    Wow, I rarely comment.  But this post prompted me.   I think Mr. Klavan is an incredible fiction writer.   I have loved the 7  books I have read.   His characters are remarkably developed and the storylines are excellent.  Give me more Mr. Klavan.    Keep trucking and thanks for the wonderful enjoyment of your mind.  

    • #25
  26. Internet's Hank Contributor
    Internet's Hank
    @HankRhody

    Quinnie (View Comment):

    Wow, I rarely comment.  But this post prompted me.   I think Mr. Klavan is an incredible fiction writer.   I have loved the 7  books I have read.   His characters are remarkably developed and the storylines are excellent.  Give me more Mr. Klavan.    Keep trucking and thanks for the wonderful enjoyment of your mind.  

    If I make allowances for Klavan not liking Lewis’s style of fiction then I trust you’ll allow me to dislike Klavan’s. It’s nothing personal; his fiction just rubs me wrong.

    • #26
  27. Henry Castaigne Member
    Henry Castaigne
    @HenryCastaigne

    Suspira (View Comment):

    Henry Castaigne (View Comment):

    Suspira (View Comment):

    I have the exact opposite reaction to Klavan. I think he is smart, funny, and a real thinker, but I had to quit listening to his podcast when he boarded the Trump Train.

    His fiction, however, I find very good. Some of the best genre fiction, in fact. And I admit not loving Lewis’s fiction. I can appreciate it to a certain extent, but can’t quite get into it. I love his nonfiction, though.

    That says more about you than him.

    Of course. Reading tastes differ. But as my mother would have said, your remark was unnecessary.

    I was referring ti the incessant forcing of Trump into everything.

    • #27
  28. Eustace C. Scrubb Member
    Eustace C. Scrubb
    @EustaceCScrubb

    Henry Castaigne (View Comment):

    Suspira (View Comment):

    Henry Castaigne (View Comment):

    Suspira (View Comment):

    I have the exact opposite reaction to Klavan. I think he is smart, funny, and a real thinker, but I had to quit listening to his podcast when he boarded the Trump Train.

    His fiction, however, I find very good. Some of the best genre fiction, in fact. And I admit not loving Lewis’s fiction. I can appreciate it to a certain extent, but can’t quite get into it. I love his nonfiction, though.

    That says more about you than him.

    Of course. Reading tastes differ. But as my mother would have said, your remark was unnecessary.

    I was referring ti the incessant forcing of Trump into everything.

    I did mention Klavan’s views on Trump in the OP.

    • #28
  29. Matt Harris Member
    Matt Harris
    @MattHarris

    I haven’t read any of Klavan’s fiction, as it really isn’t my genre. I have reread the Chronicles of Narnia multiple times though.

    • #29
  30. David Foster Member
    David Foster
    @DavidFoster

    I thought True Crime was an outstanding novel.  The movie was mediocre, in part because of the decision to change the race of the condemned man–which completely screwed up an important subplot in the story.

     

    • #30
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