Tuesday 30 December 2008

Where are the Dickenses?

Very good points, Sean. The centuries-old battle between the ancients and the moderns seems to have been degraded to a conflict between mainstream and non-mainstream, with the former signifying the commercially successful and the latter encompassing any literary production that doesn't sell.

But what is mainstream? Ahem. You'll be delighted to hear that Amazon.co.uk has just released its top ten best-selling books for 2008, and these are:

1. The Tales of Beedle the Bard (JK Rowling)
2. Dear Fatty (Dawn French)
3. Jamie's Ministry of Food (Jamie Oliver)
4. Delia's How to Cheat at Cooking (Delia Smith)
5. A Thousand Splendid Suns (Khaled Hosseini)
6. Jamie at Home (Good Old Jamie again)
7. The Book Thief (Marcus Zusak)
8. Dreams From My Father (Barack Obama)
9. Aliens Love Underpants! (Clare Friedman – I want to read this one to my kids)
10. A Quiet Belief in Angels (RJ Ellory)

So there's only three fiction titles in there, and six celebrity titles. Where are the Dickenses? Where are the Dostoevskys? Where are the Prousts and Joyces?


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