GQ, which stands for Gentlemen’s Quarterly, ran a feature on “21 Books You Don’t Have to Read.” Number 12 is the Bible:
The Holy Bible is rated very highly by all the people who supposedly live by it but who in actuality have not read it.
A liberal’s fantasy.
Those who have read it know there are some good parts, but overall it is certainly not the finest thing that man has ever produced. It is repetitive, self-contradictory, sententious, foolish, and even at times ill-intentioned.
I’m guessing whoever wrote this hasn’t actually read the Bible, or any substantial part thereof. His or her comments–the article is credited to “the Editors of GQ,” possibly the country’s second stupidest group after the editorial board of the New York Times–reflect a towering ignorance.
For what it’s worth, the GQ board is right about some books you shouldn’t bother to read–The Old Man and the Sea, which is shooting fish in a barrel, The Catcher In the Rye, The Ambassadors by Henry James, one of the worst writers who ever picked up a pen, Gravity’s Rainbow by the utterly unreadable Thomas Pynchon, and perhaps one or two more. Notably, however, they don’t include useless works like The Color Purple, which is inflicted on high school students much like The Old Man and the Sea.
On the other hand, GQ absurdly proscribes excellent books like Huckleberry Finn, about which the author of the article writes:
Mark Twain was a racist. Just read Adventures of Huckleberry Finn. He was a man of his time, so let’s leave him there. We don’t need him. If you want adventure, or misadventure, read The Adventures and Misadventures of Maqroll, by Alvaro Mutis.
Spoken like an ignorant liberal, the exact opposite of the truth. Suffice it to say that I won’t be reading The Adventures and Misadventures of Magroll.
Other excellent books on GQ’s Index Librorum Prohibitorum include Goodbye To All That, A Farewell to Arms, Gulliver’s Travels and John Adams.
Happily, there is probably not a single person in the world who takes advice on books from GQ.
Via IJR. Because who actually reads Gentlemen’s Quarterly?