Tuesday, October 7, 2008

The Jewel of Medina Reviewed

Over at the Los Angeles Times, Laurel Maury reviews The Jewel of Medina (the controversial novel about the young wife of the prophet Muhammad). As expected, Maury doesn’t have nice things to say about the book:
The Jewel of Medina is a second-rate bodice ripper or, rather, a second-rate bodice ripper-style romance (it doesn't really have sex scenes). It's readable enough, but it suffers from large swaths of purple prose. Paragraphs read like ad copy for a Rudolph Valentino movie.
Maury concludes:
I suspect Jones wanted to write a feminist text, sort of Islam 101 for the post-Buffy the Vampire Slayer generation. I can't say whether, from a religious point of view, The Jewel of Medina is worth the anguish it's caused, but as literature, it's a misstep-ridden, pleasant-enough mediocrity.
The fact that this book is reviewed in the Los Angeles Times supports the point I made yesterday that the controversy surrounding the publication of The Jewel of Medina is the best thing to happen to the book.

1 comment:

Sandra said...

I'm convinced you're right. A lot of novels with a much better quality of writing behind them don't get the attention of a big newspaper review like this one. More's the pity.