Wednesday, January 16, 2008

The Great Wednesday Compare: John Steinbeck VERSUS Carol Shields

The winner of last week's Great Wednesday Compare (John Steinbeck Vs. Ernest Hemingway), with a final score of 16-7 (plus 1 vote for Jane Austen and 2 who abstained out of boredom), was John Steinbeck.

I'm pleased with the results. The Old Man and The Sea is one of, if not the only, adult novel I've reread. The first time it was as a teenager, the second as an adult. Both times I disliked it (though for almost completely different reasons.) That said, last year Gentle Reader introduced me to Hemingway's legendary six word story and I loved it.

Interestingly, as I was trying to decide who should compete this week, I came across this old post from Bybee... So as not to risk being sued for plagiarizing her idea, it's probably best I don't use F. Scott Fitzgerald this week.

Instead I'm going to give in to my own curiosity and try Carol Shields. She's one of those who I think is recognized and appreciated world wide, but of whom I also fear my patriotic side blinds my judgement (though she did have dual citizenship).

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. (Jan 22, 2008), and please spread the word!

Who's better?

21 comments:

August said...

As much as I love Carol Shields (she wrote my favourite novel), I think Steinbeck is still the stronger novelist over all.

So: Steinbeck.

pussreboots said...

As I haven't read any of Shields's novels and can't name any, I'll have to go with Steinbeck by default.

gautami tripathy said...

As I have only read Steinbeck so I will stick to him.

Sam Houston said...

Carol Shields is very good, no doubt about it...but she's no Steinbeck...yet. I go with Steinbeck again.

Stephanie said...

Sorry. I haven't actually read any Carol Shields. So I guess I can't really vote this week!!

Chris said...

Shields. She's my favorite author. I'm reading Larry's Party and I can feel my mind growing. She had a way with words that is incomparable.

Shields, Shields, Shields!

Remi said...

I still have a hard time accepting any claims that Steinbeck was better at the craft of writing then Hemingway, but I will say that Steinbeck was a far better yarn spinner.

While I do like and repect Shields work, there is no comparison. Steinbeck novels are a good dinner with friends - sometimes sloppy, sometimes boisterous, but filled with great ideas and thoughts and emotions.

Rob Hardy said...

Oh, come on, it's time to nip this Steinbeck thing in the bud. Carol Shields have given me so much more pure happiness than...the other guy. I won't even say his name any more. Swann: brilliant. Unless: brilliant. The Stone Diaries: brilliant. Her biography of (much-maligned, in these parts) Jane Austen: brilliant. Her short stories: brilliant a hundred of times over. What can I do to throw the election? I have a case of Moosehead here. You can have it. Please, please, I'm begging you. Not Steinbeck again!!! Carol Shields lived in Manitoba, you hosers! Get out and vote for her!

Chris said...

Rob- *High Five* We're going to have to start a fan club ;)

kookiejar said...

Nope, I'm sorry, but not even Rob's beer can sway my vote. I loved "The Stone Diaries" but I'm still going with Steinbeck. Sorry, Rob.

raidergirl3 said...

ok, I'll do the Canadian thing and vote for Shields.

(shh, I haven't read her yet, but I'm still holding The Pearl against Steinbeck, and I fully expect to enjoy The Stone Diaries)

Wendy said...

Steinbeck, Steinbeck, Steinbeck. He's the best! (I feel like I need pom poms in my hand...but, I've never really been the cheerleader type!)

snackywombat said...

Hmm, very divisive. It's either novelist who I've really enjoyed personally or novelist who I've learned from... Latter. Steinbeck.

Barbara Bruederlin said...

While I love Steinbeck, I feel a personal connection to Carol Shields. Besides she wrote Larry's Party. Shields it is!

Bookfool said...

Steinbeck. No contest, in my humble opinion, although I think Shields was an excellent writer.

Bybee said...

I really like what I've read of Shields so far and intend to read more this year, but I've got to stay with Steinbeck. I can't be swayed, not even by Moosehead beer, and I'm pretty thirsty right now.

Dorothy W. said...

I'm going to vote for Steinbeck too. I've read one Shields novel and I didn't fall in love with it. I did fall in love with The Grapes of Wrath, however.

Carrie K said...

Rob called me a hoser. Waaaa. I'll vote for Steinbeck anyway, but I'm running out and picking up a Shield's novel. I don't think I've read anything by her. Tsk.

Gentle Reader said...

I do like Carol Shields, but I think I have to go with Steinbeck. Sorry I won't be able to partake of Rob's beer, however...

BookGal said...

Shields all the way! I loved The Stone Diaries and Unless.

Lesley said...

I haven't read anything by Steinbeck (I can hear the gasps of shock and dismay now) but have enjoyed Shields writing immensely so I will have to cast my vote for her.

Did someone mention Moosehead?