Step Across This Line collects Rushdie's nonfiction from 1992-2002, and there's more to the man than his love of U2, a subject with which he deals frankly in an essay called "U2."
I especially liked what Rushdie had to say about the state of writing and not just because he says of his experience judging a competition that
"There was a group of son-of-Kelman Scottish novels in which people said `fuck' and `cunt' and recited the names of minor punk bands. There was, too, the Incredibly Badly Sub-Edited Novel. I remember one set in the sixties in which a Communist character couldn’t spell `Baader' or `Meinhof' (`Bader,' `Meinhoff”'. Many of the entries read as if no editor had ever looked at them."More to the point, he wrote, publishers were publishing too many books because
"in house after house, good editors have been fired or not replaced, and an obsession with turnover has replaced the ability to distinguish good books from bad. Let the market decide, too many publishers seem to think. Let’s just put this stuff out there. Something’s bound to click. So out to the stores they go, into the valley of death go the five thousand, with publicity machines providing inadequate covering fire."It may surprise you to learn that the essay from which these passages are taken is highly optimistic about the state of the novel. The creative, bold, skilled, and sensitive writers are there. The people whose task it is to get those writers to us, he says, were not doing their jobs.
How does this jibe with your view of the crime-fiction market, especially if you have trouble finding the kind of crime fiction you like to read?
© Peter Rozovsky 2012