And finds Reality Hunger wanting. And he notices something that's always bugged me about Shields's books, which is that they just aren't funny enough to cut against the smell of self-importance. Here's how Roth puts it:
It advertises its own sense of importance everywhere, beginning with a dust jacket design composed entirely of blurbs, like an invalid’s room pasted with get-well cards from so many friends: Lydia Davis, Geoff Dyer, Wayne Koestenbaum, Tim Parks, Jonathan Raban.
That's bitchy, but it's pretty fucking funny. For what it's worth, Shields is a better writer than Roth acknowledges, and Mudede liked Reality Hunger.