Atonement Author Ian McEwan Hates What You're Reading

We once had the pleasure of meeting Ian McEwan, the ever-more popular author of Atonement. (For the record, we will always favor his creepy classic, Enduring Love. A hot air balloon was never so memorable!) Mr. McEwan struck us as outrageously smart and outspoken (he’s been a staunch critic of the war on terror); he also had that impeccable grace the English seem to come by so easily. So perhaps it shouldn’t be a surprise that Mr. McEwan hates what you’re reading right now: blogs.

The Literary Saloon points us to a recent interview with the author, from The New Republic, in which he makes it abundantly clear that those of us toiling in cyberspace are basically Neanderthals, at least when it comes to book criticism on the web.

TNR: Do you read any online reviews?
McEwan: I don’t read the blogs much. I don’t like the tone-the rather in-your-face road-rage quality of a lot of exchange on the Internet. I don’t like the threads that come out of any given piece of journalism. It seems that when people know they can’t be held accountable, when they don’t have eye contact, it seems to bring out a rather nasty, truculent, aggressive edge that I think slightly doesn’t belong in the world of book reviewing.

The full Q&A is here.