The MacLamity

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Friday, April 07, 2006


Judges feel the pressure to be literary when ruling on literature. Peter Smith has resisted that urge, and delivers a nice precis of his opinion of the Da Vinci Code:
As is usual with books that attract a lot of publicity they have attracted the wrath of the literary experts of the world. Fortunately it is not part of my judgment to assess the literary worth of the books or even the truth behind them. I simply observe that the Observer for example in the style for which it and its sister publication the Grauniad is justly complimented in Private Eye provides both sides of the argument. “[I pity] what led him to having to listen to such a load of tosh” (Nick Cohen 12 March 2006). Contrast Viv Groskop “pen a best seller and wait for the sneers” (19th March 2006 The Observer). I suppose in the world of publication 40 million buyers cannot be wrong.

I also liked, "I am aware (this may be an understatement) that the case has wide interest. It is very important that people do not take parts of the judgment out of context."