Well, we know which books Salman Rushdie doesn’t want in his personal library, and they include such classics as Harper Lee’s To Kill A Mockingbird, Kingsley Amis’ Lucky Jim, and his friend Martin Amis’ Money.
The Booker Prize-winning author of The Satanic Verses was “fooling around” on the website Goodreads, and his low ratings of beloved literature have gone viral. Lee’s Pulitzer Prize winner got three stars, and Lucky Jim got only one. When other readers on the site asked for explanations, Rushdie dodged them, writing that he thought his ratings would be private. “I’m so clumsy in this new world of social media sometimes,” he wrote. “I thought these rankings were a private thing designed to tell the site what sort of book to recommend to me, or not recommend. Turns out they are public. Stupid me.”
Rushdie doesn’t dislike all beloved literature, though: Five-star earners included V.S. Naipaul (with whom Rushdie has been rumored to feud) for A House for Mr. Biswas, F. Scott Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby, and Evelyn Waugh’s A Handful of Dust.
He stands by his Lucky Jim rating, though. “Well, I don’t like the work of Kingsley Amis, there it is. I don’t have to explain or justify. It’s allowed.”