Imagine you’re Laura Miller and you write reviews for Salon.com. Imagine that the website you write book reviews for sucks, has sucked for a while, and now wants people to pay for subscriptions to read content that, quite frankly, sucks. Imagine that you’ve been assigned to review Chuck Palahniuk’s new book Diary even though it’s glaringly obvious that you hate the man and his novels and you’d rather write a scathingly horrible review and beat someone down instead of trumping the delights of some new, interesting book you’ve recently read.
Thanks for writing, Scott. (I think the review qualifies as snark, too, but not because I disagree with Laura Miller’s criticisms of Palahniuk’s work. I think it qualifies because it’s unnecessarily mean. The review’s intent seems to be to insult and upset Palahniuk and his fans rather than to start any kind of dialogue with them about what makes good writing. Or why Palahniuk’s worldview or moral universe or whatchamacallit might be somewhat simplistic and flawed.)