I told you before that I make a lousy movie critic because I watch anything and everything and like most of it. You don’t believe me? You can look it up through this link; The Uncritical Critic
I hate to tell you this, but it is almost exactly the same for books too.
The Paffooney is an illustration for a proposed collaboration on a children’s book. My friend and fellow author Stuart R. West (Stuart’s Blogspot about Aliens) had a story about three kids taking a balloon ride when they accidentally gave the goldfish bubble gum to chew ignoring their mother’s warning that dire consequences would follow. He decided the project was too ridiculous to follow through on, or at least my Paffooney power wasn’t up to making sense of his brilliant literature, and the book did not happen. And I am sorry about that because I couldn’t wait to find out how it turns out. I love weird and wild stories of all kinds. And, unfortunately, I love them uncritically.
So, what kind of books would a goofy uncritical critic actually recommend? Let me lay some bookishness on ya then.
Here is the review I wrote for Goodreads on Terry Pratchett’s The Amazing Maurice and His Educated Rodents.
I have always felt, since the day I first picked up a copy of Mort by Terry Pratchett, that he was an absolute genius at humor-and-satire style fantasy fiction. In fact, he is a genius compared to any author in any genre. He has a mind that belongs up there with Mark Twain, Charles Dickens, and William Faulkner… or down there as the case may well be. This book is one of his best, though that is a list that includes most of his Discworld novels.
Amazing Maurice is a magically enhanced cat with multiple magically enhanced mice for minions. And the cat has stumbled on a sure fire money-making scheme that completely encompasses the myth of Pied Piper of Hamlin. In fact, it puts the myth in a blender, turns it on high, and even forgets to secure the lid. It is funny, heartwarming, and changes the way you look at mice and evil cats.
This is a book to be read more than once and laughed at for the rest of your life.
You see what I mean? I uncritically praise books that make me laugh and think deeply about things at the same time. It is as if I don’t have any standards at all if something is brilliantly written and makes a deep and influential impression on me.
Here’s another book that I love so much I can’t be properly critical when I reread it. A Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens. I cannot help but be taken in by the unrequited love the dissolute lawyer Sydney Carton had for the beautiful refugee from the French Revolution, Lucy Manette. Tragic love stories melt my old heart. And I can’t help but root for Charles Darnay as well, even though I know what’s going to happen in Paris at the Bastille because I have read this book three times and seen the Ronald Coleman movie five times. I also love the comical side characters like Jerry Cruncher the grave-robber and hired man as well as Miss Pross, the undefeatable champion of Miss Lucy and key opposer to mad Madam Defarge.
I simply cannot be talked out of praising the books I read… and especially the books I love. I am totally uncritical as a reader, foolishly only looking for things I like about a book. Real critics are supposed to read a book and make faces that remind you of look on my little brother’s face when I had to help him use an outhouse for the first time. (Oh, what a lovely smell that was!) (And I mean that sarcastically!) Real critics are supposed to tell you what they hated about the book and what was done in such a juvenile and unprofessional way that it spoiled all other books forever. That’s right isn’t it? Real critics are supposed to do that? Maybe I am glad I’m not a real critic.