Over the past week, Ana Marie Cox’s debut novel, Dog Days, has netted three — count ’em! one-two-three — articles in The New York Times. And none of their authors seem to be on quite the same page.
Janet Maslin (1/3): “Dog Days manages to be doubly conventional: it follows both an old-fashioned love-betrayal-redemption arc and the newer, bitchier nanny-Prada chick-lit motif…Any smart Web site would mock her [protagonist’s] final gesture: turning on her laptop and writing the opening lines of this book.”
Christopher Buckley (1/8): “…if this sparkly, witty – occasionally vicious – little novel is any indication of Wonkette’s talent, then Cox ought to log out of cyberspace and start calling herself Novelette.”
David Carr (1/5): “Dog Days is like a lot of first-time novels in that it takes the author’s day-to-day existence and heats it up a few notches…the plot is on the hoary side.” [He also calls Cox “a Katharine Hepburn with a severe case of potty mouth.”)
If the Times continues apace, its writers may just exceed the book’s own word count with alternate expressions of praise and political piñata-whacking.