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Wednesday, August 08, 2007

The Great Wednesday Compare #9- Robert Frost VERSUS Margaret Atwood

The winner of last week's Great Wednesday Compare (Dr. Seuss Vs. Robert Frost), with a final score of 21-4, was Robert Frost.

Wow. Just when I thought I was getting the hang of picking reasonably matched authors, I go and put Seuss up against Frost. Poor Seuss was totally kerthunkled, wasn't he?

I don't mean to say that I personally think these authors have all been on par with one another in terms of quality, put I have tried to find ones I've felt relatively equal in terms of popularity. There's no point, for instance, in putting Miriam Toews up against John Grisham. Toews might be the better writer, but if most people haven't read her books, how could they know? I hope to get authors that most people will have at least some familiarity with.

Except for this week. I've gone really underground with this one, hoping to expose one of Canada's lesser known authors: Margaret Atwood. Right. Anyway, to ease my guilt about only focusing on the famous, after you vote this week, how about also recommending a favourite author that we may not have heard of? If you can't think of anyone, that's okay- still cast your vote!

Remember, vote simply by adding your comment below, base it on whatever merit you choose, voting does not end until Tuesday at 11:59 p.m. (August 14th), and please spread the word!

Who's better?










26 comments:

richard said...

Woo hoo, I'm first! (Unless I keep screwing up the sign-in....)

Margaret Atwood, no question, for the range of forms in which she breathes fire. (Pun Alert! Pun Alert!)

Down with America :-)

Rob Hardy said...

Margaret Atwood. I loved Cat's Eye. The Handmaid's Tale is a classic (it's even cracked the English curriculum in my son's high school. She's a staple of the wonderful Virago Press. And she (unlike Frost) wrote one of my favorite poems, Bored.

She's only my second-favorite Canadian novelist, after Carol Shields, and only my second-favorite Canadian poet, after Joni Mitchell. But she's good enough to beat Vermont's Frost in this border duel.

JaneFan said...

Margaret Atwood - she consistently achieves the near-impossible task of conveying the complexity of being a woman. Her characters have inner lives and complicated emotions and pschological connections to their childhoods... I can't explain it this early in teh morning, but it's brilliant - just read The Robber Bride or Cat's Eye!

Chris said...

Atwood, for sure! Handmaid's Tale scared me silly.

Nicole said...

Unfortunately, I've never read anything by Margaret Atwood, so I will have to respectfully excuse myself from the voting this week. Unless, of course, seeing her name on the cover of a book counts? No, I don't think so.

However, if I were voting, I would cast my vote for Frost. And you can do with that information what you will, John!

A favorite author you may not have heard of? Well, it just so happens that I have recently begun reading Jasper Fforde, who I had never heard of until I stumbled across his books while searching for something to read on the plane ride home from Oregon. Maybe you've heard of him, maybe you haven't. Either way, I think everyone should give The Eyre Affair a try, at the very least.

Barbara Bruederlin said...

Atwood, for sure, if only for the Handmaid's Tale and Oryx and Crake.

These are not exactly unknown authors, but I would sure be interested to see them in a dust-off (not necessarily against each other):

Rohinton Mistry
Irvine Welsh

kookiejar said...

Atwood. "The Handmaid's Tale" is amazing and she seems to have the most books waiting on my TBR list.

Wendy said...

As much as I love Frost, I have to cast my vote for Atwood. She's brilliant and has amazing range as an author.

Future authors? How about Markus Zusak or David Mitchell?

Dewey said...

I vote for Atwood, and I will keep voting for Atwood every week from now on. BECAUSE SHE WILL WIN EVERY WEEK FOREVER.

Rebecca said...

I have a sneaking suspicion Atwood is going to walk away with this competition, and may eve outlast Ms. Austen in this competition. (Yes, this means I'm voting for Atwood. I would be foolish to do otherwise, it appears.)

As for recommendations, I have dozens. Jeffery Eugenedies is pretty good (Middlesex is good, The Virgin Suicides has a narration style unseen elsewhere, and is noteworthy in addition to being a fabulous book.) Stephen Fry, the British actor/comedian is also really good. Guy Gavriel Kay and Charles de Lint are two Canadian fantasy authors who deserve fame and fortune. And if Poppy Z. Brite, Neil Gaiman or Tanya Huff wrote the phone book, I'd read it cover to cover.

raidergirl3 said...

Margaret is OK, I don't usually loove her stuff, but I can see why people do. I'll throw one to old Robert Frost, I think he'll need a few - stay gold, ponyboy!

Douglas Coupland, Agatha Christie?

Allison said...

Ooh, good one. Although I do enjoy Frost, my votes goes to Atwood. I was reading some of her poetry just the other night.

Carrie K said...

I'll vote for Margaret Atwood this one out. I've only actually read two of her books, eons apart - Handmaid's Tale when it came out - a book that completely freaked me out and Blind Assassin last year.

She's the one writer whose books I always am intrigued by and pick up, but for some reason, rarely actually read.

Gracie said...

Margaret Atwood gets my vote, much as I admire Robert Frost. I believe I've read all her novels, and I've begun reading her poetry. If you've read only her novels, may I recommend The Penelopiad, Moral Disorder, The Tent, and Good Bones & Simple Murders?
May I recommend P.D. James (although please not against Ms Atwood as I would like both to retire winners) and Robert Littell for future consideration?

Sam Houston said...

Margaret Atwood for me. I love her work where I only "like" Robert Frost's work.

From a quick count of the votes ahead of me, she looks like a sure winner this week.

Melanie said...

Atwood, for sure. She has amazing facility with language and genres, and I've loved nearly everything I've read of hers.

Rob Hardy said...

I forgot to give my obscure recommendations:

The great but neglected Southern novelist Ellen Glasgow.

Jessamyn West, author of The Friendly Persuasion and one of my all-time favorites, Cress Delahanty.

The English novelist (not the actress) Elizabeth Taylor.

Dr J said...

I'll stand defiantly against most of your commenters here and vote for Frost, without reservation. Atwood's turgid prose and vile verse fit into me like a fish hook in the eye. Except I'd prefer the hook.

BookGal said...

Sorry for joining the group but I love Atwood. Handmaid's Tale was one of the bet book I've ever read.

Dale said...

I prefer Robert Frost's hair.

Bybee said...

My vote this week is for Margaret Atwood. I've been a fan for many years.

3m3am.wordpress.com said...

Atwood, if only for The Handmaid's Tale. I actually didn't like The Blind Assassin that much, though.

Poodlerat said...

I've tried Atwood three times (The Handmaid's Tale, Alias Grace, Bodily Harm) and her writing has never grabbed me.

I will continue to try, because I am determined to get through at least one Atwood novel in my life, but in the meantime, I will have to give my vote to Frost.

poodlerat said...

Oh, and my favourite obscure author is Shauna Singh Baldwin. I love her first short story collection, English Lessons and Other Stories, and her first novel, What the Body Remembers (which won the Commonwealth Prize.)

John said...

I detest Atwood, she's D-U-L-L.

I'm voting for Robert Frost again.

And my favourite authors have been voted down; one you haven't done is Dorothy L. Sayers. Or Evelyn Waugh. Or John Donne.

Stephanie said...

I just got back from vacation yesterday, so I hope it's not too late to vote!!

Atwood is one of my favorites, since I read The Handmaid's Tale! So she is definitely getting my vote!