Who Is Dave?

Who is Dave?

Who is Dave?

At newspapers, even on book pages, the commenters are often snotty.

Bloggers are usually more nurturing of one another’s efforts.  At book blogs we  comment, “Great post!” or “I want to read this.”  There is a kind of  community.

Of course it is not always a love fest.  At my old blog, I occasionally disabled the comments feature, because I was unhappy with negative remarks.  And so I fled to Mirabile Dictu, my under-the-radar blog, where only three subjects cause dissension:  Jane Austen, Jane Eyre, and Angela Thirkell.

It’s nothing I can’t handle.

And I shouldn’t condemn the newspaper commenters, because I myself have come to no good commenting.  A couple of times I did at The Guardian.  You read so many odd comments that you think, Okay, I’ll join in. And then you regret it, because it is there forever.

The only good thing I can say is I wasn’t snotty.

Often when I read comments on book pages I think, Get a blog!  Bloggers think a little harder before they judge journalism or books.

The most annoying comments of all can be found in The Guardian’s “What You’re Saying” features,  which are made up entirely of comments from readers. What are the writers getting paid for?

Today I read one of the comment articles, which was titled: “Choose the best and worst 21st-century novels – open thread.”

In the very short body of the article, we are told we can disagree with Dave.  Who  is Dave?

Apparently there is something called  TV Channel Dave, where 2,000 people were recently polled about the best and worst books of the 21st century.

Dave’s best books are:

• Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix by JK Rowling 
• Life of Pi by Yann Martel 
• The Time Traveler’s Wife by Audrey Niffenegger 
• The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins 
• Atonement by Ian McEwan 
• The Help by Kathryn Stockett 
• The Amber Spyglass by Philip Pullman
• We Need to Talk About Kevin by Lionel Shriver
• No Country for Old Men by Cormac McCarthy 
• Pompeii by Robert Harris

And the worst books are:

• Angel by Katie Price
• Fifty Shades Trilogy by EL James
• A Whole New World by Katie Price
• Learning to Fly by Victoria Beckham
• The Da Vinci Code by Dan Brown

I cannot say that “Dave” has very good taste.

The commenters mostly  talk about their own lists.  At least one of them mentioned Will Self’s Umbrella, which some agreed was difficult. One or two were annoyed by it.

In no particular order, here are a few of the comments I read.

It does get silly. People brush up on their obscure books list trying to trump everyone else’s obscure books. Should I mention here that my particular fave is my Sanskrit-English dictionary (Monier-Williams)?

And later:

doubt if many people have heard, let alone read, any on your best list. But thanks.  the enemy

And then:

You and TheEnemy shouldn’t be on here, you should be waltzing around spitting on the Mensa members for being cretins.

Where is the community of newspaper commenters?  More writing from The Guardian’s writers, please!

2 thoughts on “Who Is Dave?

  1. Dave is a really dumb cable channel over here which mainly shows repeats as far as I can see – so quite why they think they can choose books I don’t know. What a stupid selection they picked…..

    People seem to get very hysterical when commenting on newspapers which is why I mainly avoid them. I have found the blogosphere mainly nurturing, which is nice – booklovers should stick together and support each other in their love of books, even if it’s not necessarily a book they’d like themselves!


  2. It’s always amazing when TV channels get involved! Of course Oprah actually did choose good books for her book club, including Anna Karenina. But in the U.S. I can’t see a TV channel making a list. What would THAT look like?

    I agree that people do get hysterical. What I’ve noticed both in comments at newspapers and on Twitter (which I quit, as you know), some people have a hip-nasty tone, really much more nasty than hip, which I want to avoid at all costs. They may not be like that in person, but I prefer not to get involved. (I have left some very stupid comments myself, though.:))


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