Junk Fiction


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Paperback Editions

Are you a serious reader who takes a break from literary authors like Jane Austen, Leo Tolstoy, Virginia Woolf and James Joyce to read a good juicy romance, thriller, mystery or science fiction novel? Or, is your reading a steady diet of paperbacks featuring werewolves, detectives, elves, lawyers, heroines or adventurers? Either way, author Thomas J Roberts argues paperback junk fiction, so called, is anything but junk. Quite to the contrary, there are a good number of very compelling reasons we Are you a serious reader who takes a break from literary authors like Jane Austen, Leo Tolstoy, Virginia Woolf and James Joyce to read a good juicy romance, thriller, mystery or science fiction novel?

Quite to the contrary, there are a good number of very compelling reasons we enjoy such fiction that speaks directly and forcefully to our everyday reality with sharply etched characters. What a fascinating read!

By way of example, the author quotes from Cinnamon Skin by John D. Car parts, refrigerators, cargo trailers without wheels, stove-wood, rolls of roofing paper, bed frames, broken rocking chairs, broken desk furniture, piles of cinder block, piles of roof tiles, a stack of full sheets of plywood, moldering away. It made me think of an object I had seen in New York when a woman persuaded me to go with her to an exhibition at the Museum of Modern Art. That object was a realistic-looking plastic hamburger on a bun with an ooze of mustard, pickle, and katchup.

It was ten feet in diameter and stood five feet high. This scene had that same total familiarity plus unreality. Thus our author makes an even stronger claim: In the aftermath of a possible future cataclysm, the edifice of high culture could be reconstructed from direct references made in junk fiction. When speaking of cultivated taste and low taste our author makes some interesting remarks, dividing readers and writers into three categories: serious Italo Calvino , plain Sidney Sheldon , paperback John D.

Is Genre Fiction Junk Fiction?

Sometimes, he reflects, some readers will publicly praise one type of book and secretly take great pleasure in reading another type of book. One can imagine a college professor writing scholarly articles on Shakespeare or Edith Wharton but having a stack of Danielle Steel or Agatha Christie or Ian Fleming or Stephen King she or he can never get enough of. The important question is what we escape to.

Sidebar: Many philosophers such as Kant and Schopenhauer speak of our using our imagination and intuition in this way to have an aesthetic experience, an experience very refreshing, intensely pleasurable, highly insightful and sometimes even blissfully liberating — novel reading on any level as our modern counterpart to what the ancients experienced watching tragedies or comedies.

Literary Junk Food: The Pleasures of Reading — The Wheeler Centre

View all 47 comments. Jul 31, John rated it it was ok Shelves: , publishing. The author sounds a little too stuffy when discussing popular and genre fiction. It's clear the argument of the book is that there are worthwhile pop and genre fiction pieces that should be considered as a second tier of literature under the classics and literary fictions.


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I found the argument a little too condescending towards too much literature. There's a clear class structure for reading in the book and Roberts is earnestly trying to make a case for inclusion, but an inclusion with a clear d The author sounds a little too stuffy when discussing popular and genre fiction. There's a clear class structure for reading in the book and Roberts is earnestly trying to make a case for inclusion, but an inclusion with a clear demarcation based on genre. Feb 15, Karl Bunker rated it it was amazing.

The two books complement each other, covering the same general topic, but with somewhat different approaches and focus.

Liked Most Often

Roberts' primary focus is understanding people's responses to junk fiction, both positive and negative. Roberts says that he uses the loaded word "junk" as a way of "squarely facing" the fact that he's talking about types of fiction that many people regard wi This book is a great companion piece to Adventure, Mystery, and Romance: Formula Stories as Art and Popular Culture.

Roberts says that he uses the loaded word "junk" as a way of "squarely facing" the fact that he's talking about types of fiction that many people regard with disdain, if not something worse than disdain. In the text of the book he more often uses "paperback fiction" as a catchall. What is the appeal or, to put it better, what are the various appeals of junk fiction?

Many "learned" readers condemn this sort of reading matter as formulaic, cliched, and predictable, but even if that characterization is accurate, is it a valid grounds for condemnation? What pleasures do readers including many of those same "learned" readers find in junk fiction? Are those pleasures really limited -- as many other scholars have claimed -- to relaxation, escape, and Walter-Mitty-style daydreaming?

They also exist as traditions -- traditions that readers become aware of only after reading many books in that genre; traditions that change over time and that each individual story contributes to and is a part of. This book is an intelligent, insightful, and well-written look at a fascinating topic. Jan 28, Nathanael Booth rated it really liked it. Roberts argues that readers of junk fiction are interested in broad structures rather than individual experiences—that is, we read detective stories, not Agatha Christie.

On thinking this over a little more, I am tentatively placing blame on the internet.

R29 Original Series

Lobstergirl rated it it was amazing Mar 07, Mary-Michelle Moore rated it it was amazing Sep 20, Laura rated it liked it Mar 09, Eseuteo rated it it was ok May 02, Cordelia rated it really liked it Mar 20, Rowena rated it it was ok Aug 22, Michael rated it it was ok Jun 15, Harry F. Sean Baity rated it really liked it Aug 11, Kevin added it Feb 01, Alex marked it as to-read Feb 23, Denali marked it as to-read Feb 23, Doug marked it as to-read Mar 01, Pat marked it as to-read Aug 20, Velma added it Oct 28, Alex marked it as to-read Nov 20, Ellie added it Apr 06, Gavin added it Jul 27, Phil marked it as to-read Aug 15, Amanda Skjoldal marked it as to-read Sep 06, Elyza marked it as to-read Nov 26, Erin Shaw marked it as to-read May 29, Julie marked it as to-read Jul 02, Josh marked it as to-read Jul 03, Sean marked it as to-read Jul 17, Cass marked it as to-read Jul 18, Alissa marked it as to-read Jul 24, Ziqi Dong marked it as to-read Sep 22, Becky marked it as to-read Sep 28, Carmen Tourney marked it as to-read Oct 15, But no one can fly forever.

One day, finally, you have to come down. Told from multiple viewpoints, Junk is a powerful, unflinching novel about heroin.

Junk Fiction: America's Obsession with Bestsellers

Once you take a hit, you will never be the same again. Melvin Burgess. Melvin Burgess was born in London and brought up in Surrey and Sussex. He has had a variety of jobs before becoming a full-time writer.


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  8. Before his first novel, he had short stories published and a play broadcast on Radio 4. He is now regarded as one of the best writers in contemporary children's literature, having won the Carnegie Medal and the Guardian Children's Fiction Prize for his acclaimed novel Junk. Such a book is Melvin Burgess's Junk. Our Lists. View all online retailers. Read more. Also by Melvin Burgess. Related titles. Love, Simon. Undercover Princess. Turtles All the Way Down. Everything, Everything. Roald Dahl , Quentin Blake. Charlie And The Chocolate Factory.

    1stclass-ltd.com/wp-content/gps/2535-gratis-handy.php Thirteen Reasons Why.

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