Normally, authors of books don’t fall under the purview of http://www.videogum.com. They are not in our wheelhouse, as people who use that expression like to say. But Nicholas Sparks is a little different. For one thing, he wrote The Notebook. So, you know, THE MOST DANGEROUS FAIR GAME. And the reason he made it into this month’s Duh Aficionado magazine (we should really go bi-weekly soon, we have the content) is for a USA Today profile on him on the eve of another miserable movie project Sparks is responsible for: Miley Cyrus’s The Last Song. So, it is appropriate. Man oh man, this idiot is such a jerk! For one thing, he does terrible work, NO DUH. But it’s somehow getting worse? Like, he wrote The Last Song FOR Miley Cyrus? As in, he pitched it to Disney and they got Miley on board and THEN he wrote it. Miley Cyrus even named her character herself. Good job, artists. And then listen to the nonsense that comes out of this clown’s mouth (from USA TODAY):
“I write in a genre that was not defined by me. The examples were not set out by me. They were set out 2,000 years ago by Aeschylus, Sophocles and Euripides. They were called the Greek tragedies. A thriller is supposed to thrill. A horror novel is supposed to scare you. A mystery is supposed to keep you turning the pages, guessing ‘whodunit?’
“A romance novel is supposed to make you escape into a fantasy of romance. What is the purpose of what I do? These are love stories. They went from (Greek tragedies), to Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet, then Jane Austen did it, put a new human twist on it. Hemingway did it with A Farewell to Arms.”
Just to clarify, Nicholas Sparks, author of NIGHTS IN RODANTHE, just compared himself to Aeschylus, Sophocles, Euripides, Shakespeare, Jane Austen, and Ernest Hemingway in one breath. And in case you want to give him the benefit of the doubt and imagine that perhaps he is simply tracing the development of literary history as it unfolded until his own career, there is this:
Sparks pulls [a book] off the shelf. “A Farewell to Arms, by Hemingway. Good stuff. That’s what I write,” he says, putting it back. “That’s what I write.”
When asked about his favorite coming-of-age tale, Nicholas Sparks NAMES HIS OWN BOOK. And then, Nicholas Sparks, author of A WALK TO REMEMBER, levies a scathing criticism on the winner of the National Book Award, the Pulitzer Prize, and the MacArthur “Genius Grant” Fellowship, Cormac McCarthy:
“Horrible,” he says, looking at Blood Meridian. “This is probably the most pulpy, overwrought, melodramatic cowboy vs. Indians story ever written.”
Nope. No. Everyone is entitled to their opinion, except for Nicholas Sparks. He is entitled to one bright orange jumpsuit and the bottom bunk in a jail cell. I could say something about his criticism of Cormac McCarthy, but it would not beat what Roger Ebert had to say about it in his review of The Last Song:
I resent the sacrilege Nicholas Sparks commits by even mentioning himself in the same sentence as Cormac McCarthy. I would not even allow him to say “Hello, bookstore? This is Nicholas Sparks. Could you send over the new Cormac McCarthy novel?” He should show respect by ordering anonymously.
That is a ZING to remember! Roger Ebert: always the best.
Nicholas Sparks: the fucking worst. (Thanks for the tip, Julia.)