“This really isn’t my kind of novel, but let me go on about it at length anyway…”

From the first paragraph of David Gates’ New York Times review of Salman Rushdie’s The Enchantress of Florence: “I’m probably not Rushdie’s target audience: in literature, at least, I find the marvelous tedious, and the tedious—as rendered by a Beckett or a Raymond Carver or even a Kafka—marvelous.”

Seems to me the place to confess this sort of thing is not in the review itself, but in an email to the Times editor explaining why you’re the wrong person to write the review. Of course they don’t pay you for turning down the job.

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