EL James Murdered Your Children And Stole Your Kidneys

…having insulted your dearly departed mother, and told everyone on Facebook that you love to torture dogs.

At least, I think those are her latest crimes. I can’t be sure. There are so many.

EL James Murdered Your Children And Stole Your Kidneys

The URL for this article actually says “What EL James’ Grey Success Tells Us About The Future Of Fiction”. Wow. I’d say it tells us… well, exactly nothing at all, really.

I love the Guardian. Don’t get me wrong. I embody many of the stereotypical attributes of a Guardian reader, except for maybe the sandals, the ethically-sourced attitudes to putting money in one’s pocket, and any aspiration to to make the world a better place (I rather enjoy having something to whinge about).

But in this article here, the Guardian says that blockbusters like James’ Grey not only destroy the earnings of other authors, but also ruin prospects for emerging authors.

Now. Far be it from me to defend EL James: what I read of hers, I found offensive, for at least 17 reasons I don’t need to go in to, here, because this post is not about her writing. (Although I still contend that if the millions of people out there buying her books had realised before the publication of Fifty Shades that the likes of Mills & Boon supplied all the Mommy Porn a girl could ever want, had she only known she wanted it, we wouldn’t be talking about EL James today at all.)

Embed from Getty Images

 

So, back to moaning about industry moaners. Back when I started this blog, I did some bloody great statistics on bestseller sales, if I do say so myself, which were highly illuminating [caveat lector, etcetera]. Unfortunately, none of you were reading this blog back then, so it’s high time they were rolled out again.

My Arse

I touched on the blockbuster quandary before, when I asked what effect blockbuster releases had on book sales. And the conclusion I came to was: not much, really. There is no indication, from bestseller sales volumes at least, that people who buy the major blockbusters do so instead of other books. It’s more likely that people either buy them as well as all the other books they were going to buy anyway, or that blockbusters are simply the only books they ever buy.

EL James’ trilogy, when it appeared in 2012, caused a spike in UK bestseller sales of 9.7 million units over the prior year. What I mean is: 9.7 million more top 100 bestsellers sold in 2012 than in 2011. That’s a lot of extra unit sales.

Are you trying to tell me that the 10.5 million people who bought the paperback Fifty Shades trilogy in the UK in 2012 would otherwise have bought a self-published book, or a literary prizewinner which only shifted 5,000 units?

My arse. Seriously.

EL James Murdered Your Children And Stole Your Kidneys

That thing! That thing what didn’t work out for me! That’s all your fault!

 

Big Bullies

There is also no indication that just because Dan Brown or J.K. Rowling bring out a new bestseller, other book sales suffer in the long-term (unless, that is, they’re released at the same time, in which case publicity for the smaller launch probably will get lost in the noise). And less well-known authors are particularly unlikely to suffer. If I’m in the market for a Rowling, it’s because it’s created its own market: the J.K. Rowling market. The only person who is likely to suffer is Dan Brown, because if I’m reading Rowling, I’m unlikely to bother with him (which is exactly what happened with me regarding The Casual Vacancy Vs Inferno. However, many, many people read both).

Even Mills & Boon weren’t harmed in the making of the Fifty Shades self-perpetuating pornomenon (new word for the day). They were far more likely to gain customers than lose them, because the market for erotic romance exploded (sorry) once it emerged (oops) into the pumping, torrential (stop!) mainstream.

So Who Gets The Pie?

The Guardian article asks “when vast sales are accrued by single authors… what long-term impact does it have on the world of publishing and bookselling?”, finding that top-earning authors grab both headlines and money at the expense of emerging writers, thus hurting their careers.

I find this unintentionally funny. In these early posts about bestseller sales in the 1980s and 1990s,  I spoke about the fact that it was just as difficult to get traditionally published then as it is today, but top authors were earning besquillions of megabucks back then, based on far less effort. In the 1980s in particular, there were significantly fewer bestselling authors than there are today: so few of them, in fact, that the ones who made it earned pretty much all the money, because it was almost impossible for a new author to break through. There were a few more emerging in the 1990s, but it wasn’t until more widespread self-publishing in the 2000s that we started to see more and more breakthroughs into the big leagues.

EL James Murdered Your Children And Stole Your Kidneys

1980s NYT Bestsellers: Only 33.5 No. 1 Bestseller Authors in 10 Years. Ridiculous

EL James Murdered Your Children And Stole Your Kidneys

The table speaks for itself. A mere 34 authors hit the New York Times #1 Bestseller spot in the 1980s, compared to 78 in the 2000s; and having hit the #1 spot, they stayed there for longer in the ’80s than they do now. But for more lovely detail, see links to the posts on each decade above.

There is no question that authors are earning less nowadays. At the lower end of the scale, it means that lesser known authors can’t make a living from their writing. This is unfortunate, granted. But at the top end, though, are you really upset that EL James and Random House are probably making only half today of what they would have made thirty years ago?!

That Was Then, This Is Now

The solution to pitiful author earnings, quality control in self-publishing, and changes in book format and distribution is not blaming and giving out about bestselling authors. It is also not blaming and giving out about readers. Perhaps with a little more strategic thinking, and a little less moaning, traditional publishers could capitalise on the fact that not only do we now understand more about readers, but that completely new markets are being created – with the help of social media – all the time.

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  62 comments for “EL James Murdered Your Children And Stole Your Kidneys

  1. janelovering
    July 23, 2015 at 8:43 am

    I believe, completely, in your figures..(far be it from me to disagree with someone with such a fabulous graph system..) and the underlying facts. Of course 50 Shades didn’t affect sales figures, how could it, as you say, people either buy more than one book a year, or they don’t buy any. But I am here to attest to the sheer confidence-sapping power of what I shall henceforth refer to as ‘those books’.
    I had a book release very close to the third one of ‘those books’. I spent more soul-destroying hours than I care to count, sitting in front of piles of my own books in bookshops, while people either queued past me to buy ‘those books’, tapped me on the shoulder to ask me where ‘those books’ were stored or blanked me completely whilst discussing with their friend – right in front of me – how crap all other books were, compared to ‘those books’.
    Book signings, for me, are now a thing of the past. I cast myself, weeping copiously’ on the floor when ‘those books’ are mentioned…

    Liked by 3 people

    • July 23, 2015 at 9:30 am

      And I completely sympathise, Jane, there can be nothing more unfortunate than your book launch clashing with the publishing phenomenon of the year. It’s very unlucky, and probably no comfort that the people passing you by would probably not have been in the bookshop otherwise, let alone in the market for anything which wasn’t one of ‘those books’, but I hope at least that you never have such a clash again. Sometimes it can’t be avoided, but at least we generally get advance notice of the blockbuster releases.

      You’re in good company with the weeping, at least. Most other people are weeping at James’ appalling writing, but misery loves company.

      Like

  2. July 23, 2015 at 8:50 am

    Beneath all the layers of jokes and puns, you talk a lot of sense! But if you didn’t have all the layers of jokes and puns, I probably wouldn’t read this post, cos it would be… Well… Boring and straight-laced like all the rest!

    You hit the nail on the head. I absolutely agree. El James success and that of JK and Dan B. never had any effect on my book sales! Lol! Nor do I begrudge them.

    The only moaners are the trad publishers, who have created this mess for themselves. Articles criticising the way things are in the publishing industry, especially those slagging off Indies, are usually owned by or associated with major trad publishers. Who is the Guardian allied with, I wonder?

    Liked by 3 people

    • July 23, 2015 at 9:38 am

      The Guardian’s culture section seems to have a huge array of guests writing for it, Ali – mostly ad-hoc articles from writers who are not journalists, I think. That’s probably what it’s down to. They have a lot of stuff from the likes of Will Self and literary prizewinners who can no longer afford to keep offices in London’s South Bank and who believe that indie authors are stealing the bread out of their mouths – that sort of thing. I’m sure they’re all avidly encouraged by their trad publishers. In fact, they could rename the Culture section the “Poor Me” section, some weeks.

      And I’ll have you know, I am abominably straight-laced. Just this morning, I told off a banker for swearing.

      Like

  3. July 23, 2015 at 8:52 am

    I’d like to think that blockbusters do us all a service, by getting people to read, as opposed to, say watch the telly, or water their pot plants, or whatever you young uns do nowadays.

    In my thinking, best-selling authors should be celebrated by the rest of us (the ones who bought a toy car with the proceeds from our books, instead of a Rolls): they act as a hook that leads their unsuspecting quarry into libraries, Amazon and bookstores.

    Liked by 4 people

    • July 23, 2015 at 9:40 am

      Exactly, Nicholas! And in the case of Fifty Shades, how many indie erotic romance authors got sales because people scoured the Internet looking for more of the same? Loads and loads. It created a new market, but for some reason, people don’t seem to like talking about that.

      Liked by 3 people

      • July 23, 2015 at 9:48 am

        I’ve found that one can either develop an antagonistic mentality, or a collaborative one. That fundamental outlook seems to permeate every aspect of one’s thinking.

        Liked by 1 person

        • July 23, 2015 at 10:11 am

          I’d love to agree with you, Nicholas, but my antagonistic mentality gives me an electric shock any time I try. So I’ll compromise by saying you’re nearly right, but you’re assuming everyone is thinking.

          Liked by 2 people

          • July 23, 2015 at 10:15 am

            ROFL – it’s a good thing, then, that I haven’t got an antagonistic bone in me (or so Electra claims).

            And now that I’ve fooled everyone, I can finally move on to the next stage in my plan to take over the world.

            Liked by 3 people

            • July 23, 2015 at 10:22 am

              Next stage? Was there a previous? 😛

              Liked by 1 person

              • July 23, 2015 at 10:23 am

                Just for that, I’ll start by ruling Ireland. And I’ll outlaw… erm… green beer. Seriously, that stuff gives me the creeps.

                Tea for everyone!

                Liked by 2 people

                • July 23, 2015 at 10:36 am

                  Well, you can try. But the last people who tried to rule Ireland ended up… never mind. You’ll find out in time.

                  Liked by 1 person

  4. tbrpiledotcom
    July 23, 2015 at 9:32 am

    I agree with you absolutely. I am reminded of the furor a little while ago when someone suggested JKR should stop writing to give other authors a chance. Bless.

    In one way it is great that people who might not otherwise do so are reading. But I have never tracked down an answer as to why it is this particular series of books that has been such a massive seller. There is porn aplenty (so a friend says) if people want it, so WHY?

    Liked by 1 person

    • July 23, 2015 at 9:47 am

      My theory is that the Fifty Shades audience just didn’t know that erotic romance for women existed. A lot of people thought that romance novels were just dippy 1960s-style boss/secretary nurse/doctor storylines with a kiss and an engagement at the end – they had no idea that some of the traditional imprints could be really graphic and so for a lot of female readers, reading graphic sex (written by women, for women) was a novelty. I don’t at all think it was the BDSM element the media seems so fixated on. But I also had friends who read the trilogy purely because of the media splash about it, who would never have gone near it otherwise, so it also became self-perpetuating.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. July 23, 2015 at 9:42 am

    Very nice point, beautifully made. Two truths: people who read, read more than one book; people who don’t read are in the majority. I think in the UK it’s about 70% of the population. (Bet more people read in Ireland. In my experience it isn’t nearly as philistine. I blame the Vikings.)

    If ELJames et al wean some of that 70% away from the Dark Side, even for a small amount of time, good on ’em. Maybe one day those readers will remember and do it again. Whenever I see the queues on Sundays trying to get into car parks prior to the great British Entertainment Experience, shopping, I think: you could have stayed home with a bad book. You’d have had more fun and it costs a lot less..

    And that is one hell of a prize pie chart.

    Liked by 3 people

    • July 23, 2015 at 10:19 am

      Thanks, Jenny! I felt very romantic about that pie chart, truth be told. I wanted to get together with it and have loads of other little pie charts. But I got distracted by a line graph. Story of my life.

      I did do another set of statistics once which showed that per head of population, the Irish buy more bestsellers than the UK, based on the Sunday Times and Irish Times weekly Top Tens – but only slightly. (I am such a nerd) But it’s a tough one to figure out, because only bestseller stats are published, and we have no idea how large the e-book market is. Still, any book sale is, as you say, good news.

      Like

  6. July 23, 2015 at 10:10 am

    The main thing that jumped out at me from this post was:

    The dog’s tongue!

    I might have to spend the rest of today analysing the semiotics of that image and its apparent subliminal relationship with the subject matter. The inclusion of the dog’s tongue is either an act of unequalled genius that transcends my analytical capacity or else you’re mad.

    But, on the subject of spikes in sales – the reason why so many other books were sold was because 9.7 million 50 Shades readers walked out the bookshop with the wrong book. (Run in, keep head down, grab book, pay, run out, get home, ‘oh cack, picked up Fred Dibnah’s Age of Steam by mistake.’)

    And in the 1980s Umberto Eco was at number 1 for longer than Jackie Collins. Well, well.

    I wonder if the Grauniad carries out the same analysis with other areas of creativity. Perhaps The Beatles ruined pop music for a generation of musicians. Or the domination of Real Madrid and Barcelona in La Liga has forced legions of Spanish boys to start playing tennis instead of football?

    One argument I don’t buy is that 50 Shades of Grey encouraged people to start reading books! No it didn’t; it encouraged people to do things utterly unrelated to reading a book.

    Now, I must go and spend the rest of the morning reading all those blog posts you wrote in the early 80s. (I had other plans…)

    Liked by 1 person

    • July 23, 2015 at 10:44 am

      But of course that was an act of unequalled genius, Chris! How could you think otherwise? I’m very hurt. But slightly mollified by the fact that you’re going to spend your entire morning reading my back catalogue. I hope you have buns and heated caffeinated beverages. It could take some time. As for the 50 readers, I know their reading led to other things, but how long did that last?!

      Liked by 1 person

  7. July 23, 2015 at 2:51 pm

    Hmmmmm, yes, I’m with you on this. If one’s purchase of an EL James’ book means, then, that one does NOT purchase an indie book hanging about at the same time, well then — please — one was NOT going to purchase said indie book. The book math is simple.

    As you say, the EL James effect is noteworthy for a great many things (always shocking when a shockingly mediocre book sets the sales bar), but it is NOT responsible for anemic sales anywhere else. If anything, it’s more likely that the uber-glut of shockingly mediocre self-published books is responsible for any lack of sales excitement in that particular neck of the book world.

    There always have been, and will always be, runaway bestsellers…and often (outside of anything by JK Rowlings) those are not particularly stellar books. “Mediocre” is a key element and has sort of a “star quality” of its own (think Dan Brown, James Patterson, Danielle Steel, etc.)… and it stars in most artistic fields. How often is the top of the music charts held by fiercely mediocre hip-hop or pop artists? The masses LOVE mediocre. Mediocre is easy to swallow (sorry, too), simple to sort out, not too taxing on the brain, with nothing much to ponder. Junk food. People LOVE junk food. They’ll sing praises for Crispy Cremes or Nik Naks but who’s warbling for broccoli??

    And really, isn’t it all about subject matter? I bet odds that if even the lowliest of indie writers popped out a series wrapped up in mommy-porn, they’d have at least shot, especially if they used “better than EL James” in their press releases.

    As the Zen masters say: “Someone else’s success is not your failure”…or “the world has room for everyone to win”…or “bite me, EL James.”

    Liked by 4 people

    • July 23, 2015 at 3:12 pm

      Yep – I agree that runaway bestsellers are always going to be a thing, Lorraine, but I wouldn’t insult any other writer by lumping them into the same category as EL James!

      Each of the other authors you mention have, I think, been either character-clever or idea-clever, whatever the quality of their writing, and that’s not as easy as they made it look. Much as I give out about him, James Patterson created a hugely loved character in Alex Cross: his crime was greed, and not knowing when to stop flogging the poor guy. Dan Brown had a bloody superb idea when he decided to make a mystery thriller out of the Grail conspiracy, and I don’t think anyone was more in tune with their market in churning out ‘One Woman’s Struggle’ novels than Danielle Steel. I say the same about Irish author Cecilia Ahern, who is a bestseller in the UK and Germany amongst other places: I don’t like her writing myself, but her books are usually based on smart, unique ideas.

      The way I see it, EL James was simply in the right place at the right time. She crossed the tired billionaire romance genre with erotica when the internet was actually hungry for free content, mad about the admittedly slick Twilight movies, and willing to talk about it all on social media. At the same time, journalists were looking for social media phenomena to write about – how many articles were written about Amanda Hocking in 2011/12? A lot of things had to coincide for EL James, granted, but I think it was all a glorious accident, and could just as easily have missed her by 5 minutes and hit somebody else (what a shame it didn’t!)

      Like

      • July 23, 2015 at 3:21 pm

        No, certainly, E L “Crap, he’s hot” James is likely shamed even by Patterson and Steel. But whether or not those mainstream bestsellers are as bad, and commendable points though they may have, they do tend toward mediocre, a trait that floats nicely in the mainstream middle. At least that’s my take. We don’t see many Anthony Doerr’s or Donna Tartt’s out there doing E L or even Danielle Steel levels of business.

        Though I very much agree that E L was the beneficiary of a cultural fluke… lightening striking at the very less expected spot.

        Provocative post, Miz Sparling. 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

        • July 23, 2015 at 3:34 pm

          Well, we could try to argue with popularity, but what would be the point! The mainstream is the middle precisely because it strikes a chord with more people, and in my book, pardon the pun, that’s an incredibly hard thing to achieve. In some ways, it’s self-perpetuating, in that the middle becomes more middle because we tend to take notice of already popular things and flock towards them, whether they really speak to us or not. And in some cases, it’s because some artists are very good at writing simply about humanity whilst entertaining very large groups of humans at the same time. Without veering into any arguments about dumbing down, it’s not humanity’s fault if Donna Tartt isn’t speaking to them (it is, however, humanity’s fault that I have spent most of today stuck in a spreadsheet I didn’t want to be stuck in :/ )

          Liked by 1 person

  8. July 23, 2015 at 4:08 pm

    Very good points, Tara. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • July 23, 2015 at 4:16 pm

      That’s good to hear, although usually there’s no quicker way for me to change my mind than to write about something 😉

      Like

  9. July 23, 2015 at 8:45 pm

    And the award for best blog generating the most entertaining and lively discussion goes to…Oh wait, it’s not a category.

    Liked by 2 people

    • July 23, 2015 at 9:32 pm

      OMG, thank you! I’d like to thank my family… my first grade English teacher, who taught me that i comes before e, except after c, and various other exceptions… I’d like to dedicate this award to…………………… oh, hang on. You’re right. It isn’t a category.

      I’d say it’s the thought that counts, Tenderness, but I’m too disappointed to be nice. Whatever.

      Liked by 1 person

      • July 23, 2015 at 10:25 pm

        Sorry. I’ll canvas for pornonemon to be included in the Oxford English Dictionary instead 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

        • July 23, 2015 at 10:28 pm

          Pornomenon, even.. Pornomenun. Pornominal. Whatever.

          Liked by 1 person

          • July 23, 2015 at 10:55 pm

            It’s unlikely to get into the OED if you can’t even be bothered to spell it properly, Tenderness. But further disappointment aside, I appreciate the sentimeniment.

            Liked by 1 person

  10. July 23, 2015 at 9:42 pm

    There must be something wrong with me (which perhaps explains my own paltry sales so far) – I can’t stand Harry Potter (sheesh, even the algorithms on this phone automatically suggests the name Potter when I type in “Harry”!). I can’t bear to see even one more book about wizards and dragons and knights!

    Aaaaaaaa!!!

    Liked by 2 people

    • July 23, 2015 at 10:59 pm

      Ah, the dreaded Potterphobia. You need some Antiharry immediately. I believe even the worst cases can be cured with football magazines or an undergraduate degree in Chemistry. Do either of them appeal? You can thank me later.

      Liked by 2 people

      • July 24, 2015 at 1:55 am

        If those are my only choices I’m in trouble.

        Liked by 1 person

      • July 24, 2015 at 2:02 am

        By the way, I am not<

        Like

      • July 24, 2015 at 2:06 am

        Oh the joys of writing on a pad little bigger than my thumb!

        Ahem, as I was saying, I am not Potterphobic. Some of my best friends are Potterites.

        Liked by 1 person

        • July 24, 2015 at 9:53 am

          Yeah, sure you’re not. I saw those tweets you sent to Draco Malfoy. 😀

          Like

          • July 24, 2015 at 4:04 pm

            No, no that wasn’t me, I swear. It was just someone who looks and sounds a lot like me. Honest. 😉

            Liked by 1 person

            • July 24, 2015 at 5:14 pm

              ERM, so … Um, how about those Lakers!

              Liked by 1 person

              • July 24, 2015 at 8:43 pm

                I see you are following my prescription. Good, good. Very good. Next: potassium permanganate and its relation to sports psychology.

                Liked by 1 person

  11. July 23, 2015 at 10:46 pm

    As always I find myself chuckling throughout your (very serious) post. The Mills & Boon paragraph is a treat, likewise the purple pie chart. I must have selective blindness as I have never seen a copy of the fabled ‘Fifty Shades’. I have no desire to read it and even less to get worked up about its romp through the publishing landscape… this is fun.

    Liked by 2 people

    • July 23, 2015 at 11:02 pm

      You see, Hilary, I’m forever telling people that giving out and whinging is the best fun ever, and they just won’t believe me! It’s even more fun giving out about stuff you’re not that bothered about. I’m thinking of marketing it as self-help and charging people for courses in Moaning Meditation.

      Like

      • July 23, 2015 at 11:06 pm

        You’ll have to charge several thousand pounds, as they do for writing courses in the Guardian. I can’t believe any would-be writer pays those prices.

        Like

        • July 23, 2015 at 11:11 pm

          Excellent idea, Hilary. I’ll start at €3,999.99 for the basic level (complaints with foundation), rising to €700,000 for the master level of Operating Ranter (baseless ire which is nonetheless impossible to argue with). You’d be surprised what people will pay for these days if you package it properly.

          Like

  12. July 24, 2015 at 12:46 pm

    Respect! 🙂 No, seriously. It’s a great post. I like the “it’s rubbish and offensive, but doesn’t cause great authors to lose readers” approach you have here. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • July 24, 2015 at 3:09 pm

      I suppose that’s the beauty of me sitting on the other side of the fence… I can make sweeping pronouncements without anyone thinking I have an ulterior motive. I do of course have an ulterior motive, but it’s not what people think. When I’m President of the World, all will be revealed.

      Like

  13. July 24, 2015 at 1:07 pm

    Reblogged this on graemecummingdotnet and commented:
    Yet again, Tara cuts through the crap and – in her own inimitable and entertaining way – puts things in brilliant perspective.

    Incidentally, is it right that EL James is also responsible for the Greek debt crisis?

    Liked by 2 people

    • July 24, 2015 at 3:15 pm

      Actually, Graeme, the Greek debt crisis rumour was invented by the Greeks, in the hope that EL James and her millions would come and pay tax there. However, I can say with confidence that she is responsible for most teenage acne, and that Spice Girls routine at the London Olympics. Thanks for the re-blog 😀

      Liked by 1 person

  14. July 30, 2015 at 3:37 pm

    Having never read the book, can only suspect it’s ‘success’ in sales is a marketing coup by people who know what can turn on infrequent readers if word of its ‘phenomenal success’ is punted out in media and social media. In which case the merits of the writing are secondary and what is being pandered to is the level of taste of the mass of the public. A bit like the fan base for all the endless soaps and reality programmes on TV.

    You will know more about this than I do, but full out marketing requires vast sales to pay for the push, so those who read little get caught up in the bandwagon, and wanting to be one of those ‘in the loop’ rush out and buy a copy. Several months later you find the charity shop bookshelves groaning under the weight of those discarded after the first few pages.

    Also heard an example of the extreme lengths some publishers go to in order to achieve sales of a book they think has potential. I heard, though can’t confirm, that a publisher of a Scandinavian novel (first of a trilogy) seeded the London underground with copies as part of the promotional strategy. Must have cost plenty, though it did have the merit of being a good story.

    Liked by 2 people

    • July 31, 2015 at 12:12 pm

      Yes, the hype definitely becomes self-perpetuating once it gains momentum. But even I can’t slag off good marketing. I have huge admiration for any gimmick that works. If it’s that successful, by definition it has to be good!

      Like

  15. August 9, 2015 at 9:23 pm

    This is brilliant and I agree with you. There’s so much whinging and success is fairly random anyway. Sure you can work and set yourself up for success if it comes but while it is 99% graft there is that essential 1% of unicorn pooh that has to land on it too. I’m convinced a lot of folks who buy buzz books probably never buy others.

    Cheers

    MTM

    Liked by 2 people

    • August 11, 2015 at 8:41 pm

      Thank you, MT. I think if someone (not me) actually sat down and worked out the random probability of blockbusting success, they would be lynched by a mixed mob of mathematicians and writers, which is possibly the most ignominious end I could dream of for anyone. Probably best left alone then…

      Liked by 1 person

  16. weebluebirdie
    April 19, 2017 at 9:00 am

    Bit late to the party, as usual. I’m with you on the Guardian thing. I’m buying it again every Saturday- often to scoff in dismay at the Family and Cooking section. But here and there the odd article does have me giving a grudging nod. The book reviews are sometimes useful – it’s how I came to be the admiring owner of a Joy Williams compendium.

    Liked by 1 person

    • April 19, 2017 at 10:30 am

      I only find myself giving out about it because I read it all the time, Birdie. And we all know that to make fun of something, you have to love it a little.

      Liked by 1 person

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