Christopher Hitchens has reviewed the new Harry Potter book for the New York Times. (The link takes you to the International Herald Tribune version, which doesn’t require you to sign in.)
What a grouch! I love it. To me, the funniest part is imagining Hitchens at the midnight book release, waiting in line for his copy. One pictures him chain smoking, taking pulls from a flask, and telling the 12-year-old girl in line next to him that her Hogwarts Fan Fiction is “trite and insipid.”
Christopher Hitchens as a Children’s Book Reviewer
If you want your children to subsist on a diet of sanctimonious tripe for their entire youthful existence, then The Little Engine That Could may be the perfect literary bouillabaisse for them to choke on. Overflowing with the patronizing language of sub-pathetic individualism, the book describes a locomotive attempting a previously unaccomplished ascent. If our knowledge of the hill’s difficulty is a priori, then why has a train rail been constructed along such a monumental topography? The presumptive logical dissonance is too much to handle. In the end the train makes it to the top with all of the glad-handing self-satisfaction of Bill Clinton after groping an intern.
Brilliant. (By the way, I ever-so-slightly cleaned up the above selection for our more sensitive readers.)
I should mention that if you were to lob a brick at a Mercantile Library staff meeting, you would likely hit more then one enthusiastic Hitchens fan, including your correspondent.
-Norm De Plume