17 January 2008

Page-by-page of Left Behind

I just added Slacktivist to my list of political links. He's one of the best writers on American religion I've read in a long time, but the real reason I've added him is because of his series of posts in which he goes, a few pages at a time, through Tim LaHaye and Jerry Jenkins' Left Behind. It's his Friday special, and he's spent three-and-a-half years going through just the first of these epic pieces of horrible literature (or, as Slacktivist calls them, The Worst Books in the World).

Besides being enlightening about the nature of modern American fundamentalism, the series is funnier than anything I've read in awhile, exposing the piss-poor characterization, insipid plotting, and just plain bad writing to a level of snark I've not seen since Scalzi's trip to the AIG creation museum. It's also a great primer on how (not) to write a novel, filled with the kinds of "teaching by bad example" that make me wonder if maybe more literature classes could be based on reading really bad works of fiction, instead of the Great Masterpieces of the Past (tm).

I know I'd love to take a class based on exposing the poor writing of The Da Vinci Code, anyway, and I'm so fucking tempted to subject John Ringo's There Will be Dragons to the treatment offered to Left Behind here. Just you wait....

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