Oh, wait, no, it’s the death of Robert McCrum’s faith in the novel. Slight difference.
In 2006, the novelist has become a cross between a commercial traveller and an itinerant preacher. The cultural historians of the future will surely pick over the larger meaning of this festival fever, but one thing is indisputable: in just over a generation the novel has gone public in the most astounding way. In the process, the genre has sold out and become big business, the preferred medium of self-advancement and self-promotion for Blair’s children, and almost unrecognisable to fiction-lovers raised on the literary names of the Forties and Fifties.
And he walked back and forth to school every morning, six miles over broken glass and through hail and gunfire, too. But you know what? HE WAS GRATEFUL HE HAD SHOES TO SHARE WITH THIS BROTHER!