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Here’s an interesting semi-aside from the Guardian, where they discuss the fervor (particularly from one suicidal critic) around them having suggested Martin Amis was Britain’s Greatest Living Author.
Ms Love’s hate prompted us to ask whether Amis really is Britain’s GLA. And if not, who is? Helpfully, The Book Magazine polled its readers last year, and the results were illuminating. McEwan, Salman Rushdie, Harold Pinter, AS Byatt, Doris Lessing, Alan Bennett, Iain Banks, David Mitchell, Ian Rankin, Pat Barker, Alasdair Gray, Philip Pullman, Nick Hornby and, yes, Martin Amis all scored well. Muriel Spark also made the top 20, even though she had died two months previously. But the winner by a landslide was JK Rowling, with almost three times as many votes as her closest challenger, Terry Pratchett. The wisdom of crowds.
Which makes me wonder if the word “market,” which I use so casually above, really means these teeming crowds, voting for Rowling’s pre-eminence?
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* I took out poets, because it’s not fair to include them—really, you just can’t make much of a buck off of poems.