Surely surely surely Michiko Kakutani read this smackdown before writing her review of Jonathan Franzen's Freedom? Either way, the piece is hilarious.
Compare Shivani's key claim:
Every good book is Chekhovian or Jamesian or Forsterian or Updikean--she has mastered the technique of saying nothing in a review by comparing books to an author's previous books and to classics which have nothing to do with the book at hand.
To the first sentence of Kakutani's review:
Jonathan Franzen's galvanic new novel, “Freedom,” showcases his impressive literary toolkit — every essential storytelling skill, plus plenty of bells and whistles — and his ability to throw open a big, Updikean picture window on American middle-class life.
And, in case that wasn't enough, a partial list of others to whom Franzen is compared in the review (which is about 1100 words):
David Foster Wallace
If only she had capped it off by saying that Franzen was in the ballpark of her all time fave Gary Shteyngart...