NPR and the Washington Post on ‘The Kindly Ones’

Two words sum up the Washington Post‘s take on Jonathan Littell’s The Kindly Ones; “death porn.” The reviewer also considers the book “…narratively empty and intellectually incoherent.”

NPR’s Weekend Edition, Sunday described it as “One of the most controversial novels published in recent years,” and effectively demonstrated why by warning, “Portions of this report are inappropriate for children and some listeners may find the descriptions of the book’s graphic content disturbing.”

Actually, more disturbing than the descriptions, is what the reporter says at the end of the piece, 

In part, it’s the complicity of ordinary Americans [in what happened at Abu Grahib] and what Jonathan Littell sees as  the consumer culture that insulates them from global suffering that’s led Littell to live and raise his family outside of the United States.

The book continues to be in the top 100 on Amazon sales ranking, currently at #79. Reserves continue to increase at four large libraries; over the weekend, the total reserves increased from 117 to 189. All four have just received their copies, even though the book has been out for nearly a week.

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