Reading to impress “Joe Public”?

The ever-engaging Zoe Williams reacts to the news that the “soaraway favourite” summer reading selection for British MPs is The Da Vinci Code.

Mention of this book is often suffixed by how many copies it has sold, as if sheer weight of numbers obviates all consideration of how rubbish it is. And it’s a bit late to launch into a critique of a work that makes people feel physically sick when they finish it, like a pound of strawberry bonbons, but the question remains — why aren’t they embarrassed? Why aren’t they at least pretending a greater intellectual evolution than this? What are they trying to hide? That they really prefer Enid Blyton?


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