LotR and the BBCs Big Read

Emma Comerford emmaco at tpg.com.au
Wed Dec 17 21:13:45 EST 2003

Quoting Jon Noble <jon_p_noble at yahoo.com>:

> --- Robyn Starkey <rohina at shaw.ca> wrote:
> > 
> > >Only two books with no fantasy or sf elements in
> > the
> > >top 9 (although my wife would argue that the sight
> > of
> > >Colin Firth in a wet shirt in the BBC version of
> > P&P
> > >is a very major fantasy element). I can't help
> > >wondering if this bias reflects the tastes of the
> > >sorts of people who would vote for this rather than
> > >the popluation as a whole.
> > 
> > I find it extremely interesting also how few new
> > books there are on the 
> > list - it sounds a little like a list of things
> > people *say* they read to 
> > impress others. I mean, how many times can one read
> > P&P? Isn't it time to 
> > try out something newer?
> > 
> > Robyn 
> The only real suprise in the first part of the list is
> how well Pullman rates (number 3 - and ahead of Harry
> Potter - but his vote was split among four books [HP5
> wasn't out in time to be included], with the other 3
> coming at 22, 23 and 24). I think in a list like this
> you expect the sentimental favorites to be at the top.
> The are plenty of living authors further down the
> list. I think the most represented author on the full
> list of 200 is Terry Pratchett with 15 books followed
> by Jacqueline Wilson with 13. What did suprise me was
> the large number of sf/fantasy titles in the top 10,
> at a rough count I make it about 60 books with sf or
> fantasy elements overall in the list of 200.
> Jon

I thought a lot of the books in the top 21 seemed like books read in schools. Did people vote 
for these "worthy" books rather than their genuine favourites? I just find it hard to believe 
that "Wuthering Heights" can be the absolute favourite book for so many people (not that I 
don't like it but I can't think of anyone I know who loves it as a favourite book). 

But I agree that the high fantasy element could be a result of the type of respondents.

Very interesting, anyway.
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