Author Topic: Sebastian Faulks: complacent misogynistic bumsplat  (Read 1526 times)

Captain Crunch

  • Twister, Dustbuster, Hospital Bed
Sebastian Faulks: complacent misogynistic bumsplat
« on: March 22, 2020, 03:58:29 PM »
Just finished The Girl at the Lion d'Or.  I try to read a lot of books and inevitably there will be those I don’t enjoy.  Fair enough, that’s the gamble.  BUT, considering Sebastian Faulks is so highly regarded I was not expecting anything quite so abysmal.

I can forgive clumsy, sniggering sex scenes - at one point he pats her on the head and imagines her brain below.  Or using the phrase ‘his body arched and emptied itself in her’.  Christ.  But when she gets raped but it’s ok, it’s not as if she had any respect for him so it didn’t worry her too much?  Please.

Worse though is the constant patronising oh my god it’s like the worst teacher in Britain getting up on his high horse.  For example, look at a war memorial and try to think that each name represents a person.  A person with a life, a personality, a laugh.  Do you know what Seb, I never thought of it like that I thought they put those names up out of a hat. 

You get the idea. 

I can take wasting time on a bad book but I can’t square how bad his writing is with the plaudits he has received.  He’s got a CBE for services to literature!  How? 

I checked to see if there was already a thread about this joker and found this post from 2013:

I'm sure there are books I dislike more, but the one that always leaps to mind is Sebastian Faulks' Birdsong which contains sections of writing so hamfisted that I am forced to conclude that Sebastian Faulks literally possesses a fist made of ham. 

The bits set in the trenches were okay if largely unremarkable representations of World War 1, with some unnecessary sprinklings of Freudian psychoanalysis seemingly put there just because that is also a thing that was happening in the early 20th Century. (Eros! Thanatos! This fanny smells of death! This corpse smells of fanny! Oh how I miss my sexy mother!) The 2 other sections are utter shite.

The first, set 10 years before the war is a piss poor, sub Mills and Boon love affair that contains some of the most cringeworthy descriptions of sex I've ever read, ("His tongue was a key in the lock of her parted flesh.") including a scene where the woman, Madame whatever, decides to catch whats-his-chops' cum in her mouth and then Faulks has to hastily explain that she did so out of a sense of cleanliness rather than because he wrote the first hundred pages with a lob on.

The real stinker is the final section though, featuring the great grandaughter (?) of our wartime protagonist, a thirty-something year old woman who apparently has only the most rudimentary notion of what WWI is until she gets a bit curious about her ancestry and goes to nursing homes and learns that old men have shellshock. At one point she goes to a war memorial and upon seeing all the names of the dead engraved cries out to the heavens "WHY DID NOBODY TELL ME?!" to which the only answer is "They did you daft tart, what the fuck do you think is going on in November every year with the poppies and that." Not to mention the fact that Faulks' idea of writing  "independent 70s woman" consists of having her pout about fucking a married man and whinge about how terrible it is to menstruate every now and then.

MORE LIKE BIRDSHIT.

Well said. 

Anyone else had the misfortune?


Re: Sebastian Faulks: complacent misogynistic bumsplat
« Reply #1 on: March 22, 2020, 08:16:35 PM »
his body arched and emptied itself in her

That is sub fan fic erotica.

ZoyzaSorris

  • Brimming with innards
Re: Sebastian Faulks: complacent misogynistic bumsplat
« Reply #2 on: March 23, 2020, 04:19:23 PM »
Makes him sound like some sort of wheelie-bin unloading apparatus.

gilbertharding

  • Not even the rudest man in the Beatles
Re: Sebastian Faulks: complacent misogynistic bumsplat
« Reply #3 on: March 23, 2020, 04:23:28 PM »
Quote
"His tongue was a key in the lock of her parted flesh."

At least gave me a clue I might have been doing cunnilingus right.

Also provided that memorable scene in the tv adaptation (which also dispensed with the stupid modern day stuff).

Endicott

  • I've done no research
Re: Sebastian Faulks: complacent misogynistic bumsplat
« Reply #4 on: March 23, 2020, 06:04:54 PM »
Does he have a fixation about war memorials?

Pingers

  • I can produce 3,500 water voles a year if required
Re: Sebastian Faulks: complacent misogynistic bumsplat
« Reply #5 on: March 23, 2020, 10:12:09 PM »
There is a bit in Birdsong where he describes the mud as being 'like mud'.

Twit 2

  • Fuck me, Graham!
Re: Sebastian Faulks: complacent misogynistic bumsplat
« Reply #6 on: March 23, 2020, 10:53:45 PM »
He sounds like a proper cunt. Wasn’t going to read Birdsong before, but after reading this carry on I won’t be reading Birdsong.

Twonty Gostelow

  • Sent from my bum using Crapatalk
Re: Sebastian Faulks: complacent misogynistic bumsplat
« Reply #7 on: March 23, 2020, 11:11:31 PM »
"His bayonet pierced her wet poppy" was where I gave up.

Twit 2

  • Fuck me, Graham!
Re: Sebastian Faulks: complacent misogynistic bumsplat
« Reply #8 on: March 23, 2020, 11:17:35 PM »
Bit rich with that username and personal text.

Twonty Gostelow

  • Sent from my bum using Crapatalk
Re: Sebastian Faulks: complacent misogynistic bumsplat
« Reply #9 on: March 23, 2020, 11:34:57 PM »
Eh?

timebug

  • Father of Serge
Re: Sebastian Faulks: complacent misogynistic bumsplat
« Reply #10 on: March 24, 2020, 09:48:07 AM »
He also fucked with Jeeves and Wooster in 'Jeeves and the Wedding  Bells, and with James Bond in 'Devil May Care'. Both utterly shit.Yes, I read them, but I was given free copies, I would not have spent any actual money on them!!!

gilbertharding

  • Not even the rudest man in the Beatles
Re: Sebastian Faulks: complacent misogynistic bumsplat
« Reply #11 on: March 24, 2020, 01:50:13 PM »
I didn't think his Jeeves book was terrible. Redundant, obviously, but on a par with one of Mr Wodehouse's lesser works. Better (for instance) than the one where Bertie goes off to learn to cook and Jeeves spends the entire book working somewhere else.

timebug

  • Father of Serge
Re: Sebastian Faulks: complacent misogynistic bumsplat
« Reply #12 on: March 25, 2020, 10:30:22 AM »
Fair comment about the Jeeves book, I suppose! I may have been in a funny mood when I read it.But I found it cheesy  that he kept on shoehorning 'greatest hits' in, by using existing Wodehouse material and recycling it, if you follow my drift?

Poirots BigGarlickyCorpse

  • Le corpse garlique of Hercule Poirot
Re: Sebastian Faulks: complacent misogynistic bumsplat
« Reply #13 on: March 26, 2020, 01:36:49 AM »
"His bayonet pierced her wet poppy" was where I gave up.
that's not real I don't believe it

Twonty Gostelow

  • Sent from my bum using Crapatalk
Re: Sebastian Faulks: complacent misogynistic bumsplat
« Reply #14 on: March 26, 2020, 01:49:54 AM »
that's not real I don't believe it

You're right, I made it up, but we can make it real if we repeat it often enough.

gilbertharding

  • Not even the rudest man in the Beatles
Re: Sebastian Faulks: complacent misogynistic bumsplat
« Reply #15 on: March 27, 2020, 08:25:22 AM »
Fair comment about the Jeeves book, I suppose! I may have been in a funny mood when I read it.But I found it cheesy  that he kept on shoehorning 'greatest hits' in, by using existing Wodehouse material and recycling it, if you follow my drift?

Oh, absolutely.

Re: Sebastian Faulks: complacent misogynistic bumsplat
« Reply #16 on: March 27, 2020, 05:11:07 PM »
His Jeeves book isn't bad at all.  The social commentary when Bertie has to work as a butler ("It was if I wasn't there") is a bit tiresome, and I seem to remember that there was an enormous plot hole early on which irritated me all the way through, but I enjoyed it overall.

Read Birdsong years ago.  I was very impressed by the intensity of the scenes when the miners are buried underground, but was utterly bewildered by the idea that in 1979 an educated woman in her thirties would have no idea about what went on in WW1.

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