Sir Salman Rushdie inadvertently revealed his opinion of various classic works of literature after reviewing books by authors such as Kingsley Amis, Henry James and Evelyn Waugh on Goodreads.
Rushdie, whose new novel Two Years Eight Months and Twenty-Eight Nights, will be published by Jonathan Cape in September, gave Amis’ Lucky Jim only one star on the book recommendation website. Harper Lee’s To Kill a Mockingbird fared slightly better, gaining a review of three stars.
Rushdie later claimed he thought his ratings would be private, reportedly telling other users of the site: “I’m so clumsy in this new world of social media sometimes. 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.”
He told the Independent: “I was just fooling around, experimenting with the site. Pls (sic) don’t take [the ratings] seriously.”
However, not all classics were given poor ratings. Rushdie awarded Henry James’ The Golden Bowl, F Scott Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby and Evelyn Waugh’s A Handful of Dust five stars. V S Naipaul, who had a long-standing literary feud with Rushdie, also got five stars for A House for Mr Biswas.