Thursday 17 December 2009

Quiz: Round Three

Right, final round from me, hope you've been enjoying it so far.

Views and Reviews

1) Which female novelist got in trouble for saying, in a 2003 New York Times article, that Harry Potter was written “for people whose imaginative lives are confined to TV cartoons, and the
exaggerated (more exciting, not threatening) mirror-worlds of soaps, reality TV and celebrity gossip” ?

2) Which book was Oscar Wilde talking about when he said: “One must have a heart of stone to read the death of little Nell without laughing.”

3) Which significant, and very long, 1922 novel did Virginia Woolf dismiss as the work of a “queasy undergraduate scratching his pimples.”

4) Which ex-soap actress published her debut novel The Mistress this year, described in The Guardian as ‘arguably one of the most baffling publishing decisions since Headline paid more than minus 37p for Ashley Cole's emetic memoir My Defence’?

5) Which American author's writing, from his novel's first word 'Renowned' onwards, did linguist
Geoffrey Pullum describe as “not just bad; it is staggeringly, clumsily, thoughtlessly, almost ingeniously bad”?

6) What is the title of the novel, all of which takes place on February 15th 2003, which John Banville described as “a dismayingly bad book. The numerous set pieces are hinged together with the subtlety of a child’s Erector Set.”

7) Who was Mark Twain talking about when he said that, every time he read her most famous book, ‘I want to dig her up and beat her over the skull with her own shin-bone’?

8) Which poet’s Endymion was dismissed by a contemporary reviewer as “imperturbable drivelling idiocy”?

9) It was recently revealed that the BBC had a ban on d
ramatising a certain children’s author’s books, from the 1930s to the 1950s, describing the author as a ‘tenacious second-rater’ who wrote ‘stilted and longwinded’ books. Who is the author in question?

10) Which celebrity ‘novelist,’ whose 2007 book outside the Booker shortlist, did Lynda La Plante call ‘a terrible thing for young girls who just want pink welly boots.’


  1. I only know number 8 - John Keats. Interesting questions. I'm curious to know the answers.

    By the way, I just posted a reminder about the Greengage Summer group read. Hope you're still in!

  2. I've got number 9 - it's dear Ms. Blyton of course! I know I know numbers 2 and 3 as well, but I can't for the life of me remember now...... They're the 'I'll kick myself' ones; the rest I haven't a clue. Naturally: no one matches up to the Great Genius Simon!

  3. Ha, I did better before.

    1. A.S. Byatt, and I remember that!
    2. The Old Curiosity Shop
    3. I don't know for sure but I am going to guess Ulysses
    6. Again, not sure but the events of all one day and Banville's description makes me think McEwan's Saturday

    I got nothing on the others, but I'm very curious about Mark Twain's remark!

  4. Fantastic quotes!

    1. AS Byatt
    2. Little Dorrit
    3. Ulysses
    4. Martine McCutcheon
    6. Saturday
    7. Oooh most intrigued!
    9. Enid Blyton
    10. Katie Price (ugh)?

  5. I know 2 is The Old Curiousity Shop and 7 is Jane Austen. The rest are interesting guesses!

  6. Ohh another quiz - I am enjoying these. The ones I know (or think I know) are:

    2) The Old Curiosity Shop
    4) Martine Mccutcheon
    7) Jane Austen
    9) Enid Blyton

  7. 1) A S Byatt
    2) Old Curiosity Shop
    5) Dan Brown
    6) Saturday?
    7) Austen
    8) Keats?
    9) Enid Blyton
    10) Katie Price

  8. 1. No idea, but she was wrong. Harry Potter was written for children.
    2. ??? by Charles Dickens
    3. Ulysses
    5. Dan Brown, most likely
    6. Saturday
    9. Enid Blyton

  9. 1. A.S Byatt - grrr!
    2. The Old Curiosity Shop?
    3. Ulysses
    4. Martine McCutcheon
    5. ?
    6. ?
    7. Jane Austen
    8. ?
    9. Enid Blyton
    10. Katie Price


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