Tag Archives: David Denby


Illustration from The Hunting of the Snark

For such a short book, David Denby’s Snark is awfully unfocused. Even the normally useless Amazon customer reviews noticed; given the number of Amazon customers willing to hand five star reviews to any book that didn’t make them physically ill, this book has a peculiarly sparse constellation. (Mind you, some reviews seem to be from the right-wingers who slap one-star reviews on any book whose author isn’t politically correct enough for them. “Why won’t Barack Obama apologize for this horrible book Denby has written?” writes one reviewer, who I hope is kidding.)

Denby can’t keep straight what he’s writing about. “Snark,” it is true, has no single definition. This is not a problem for writers who take care to define their terms. Denby could have written a book titled Woozle-Wozzle: Threat or Menace? and as long as he’d told us what a Woozle-Wozzle was, he’d be okay.

But Denby doesn’t know, and maybe doesn’t care about, the definition of snark. Continue reading Snark