Saturday, April 25, 2009


Better. It’s been decades since I needed to draw on reserves of patience to get through a 144-page book. It took all the patience I had to finish reading David Denby’s brief book, Snark. Denby writes film criticism for The New Yorker, and in Snark, he uses clever writing to try to define and crush what he sees as increasing tendency from many quarters to turn wit, vituperation and invective into a form of verbal abuse that he views as witless and uncivilized, called snark. He tries to use examples of wit that works and snark that doesn’t, and verbal cruelty that succeeds, and verbal abuse that falls flat. We can be nasty in better ways, according to Denby. If you care, give Snark a try.

Rating: Two-star (Mildly Recommended)

Click here to purchase Snark from

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