We have reached the stage of ultimate democracy as far as writing goes. Anyone, anywhere can write anything they want and have it instantly published on the 'Net'. They can even guarantee themselves a few readers by posting it on sites in which the comments of readers are somewhat read.
Michael Allen understands we are in a new writer- reader age. A longtime editor and bookman himself he started his own blog about books, and then collected six months, one- hundred and thirty entries into the book at question.
As a person who loves books, who takes interest in the book world, and who has not gotten really where I wanted to in the book world I am the natural reader for this kind of stuff. All these little items might after all contain some tips about how to move the pieces forward on the great board of getting somewhere.
But the truth is I love Literature more in another way, and in a way which Michael Allen does a bit of debunking of. I am a believer in the classic works, and in the special quality of certain kinds of writing. It isn't all the same mashed potatoes or daily gruel to me.
Allen is a debunker, with a sense of humor, a very great knowledge of what's going on in the British book- world. He certainly provides information and insight which can keep the old book- lover reading.
But he does not provide what a truly good or great book does, that kind of poetic feeling and inspiration, that sense of giving us an understanding of life we did not have before, that moving us to the depths of our being in revelation or discovery of the new, or what we already knew stated in a way beyond our ability to.
'Grumpy' is alright but its not the best we can do.