The Guardian backpedalled furiously over the suggestion that Martin Amis may be Britain's greatest living author. Even the furious backpedalling infuriated me because it made clear there was some frontpedalling in terms of that perception the first place. I'd be interested in whatever argument people have that Amis is a good author, let alone better than a large quantity of others, let alone in a league anywhere close to Kazuo Fuckin' Ishiguro's, who fuckin' rocks, fuck, and who didn't even get mentioned in the Guardian's backpedalling, which re-enforces my feelings of hostility towards the fuckin' Guardian, fuck.
Anyways, there must be something in Amis's work that strikes a chord with a lot of people and I'm fucked if I can tell what it is. He does have a talent for painting pictures with descriptive language - a passable turn with an adjective. He should write non-fiction, maybe. Or possibly for the Guardian - it seems they have some perceptions in common.
Reading that article does make me wonder why someone would try to determine a best author, but it also, knee-jerk like, makes me start thinking about who my favourite living author is. Who's yours?
For me, Kazuo Ishiguro is a candidate. So is A.S. Byatt, though I found Possession a bit of a slog; I like her shorter stories and novellas better, as with Alice Munro and Margaret Atwood. Patrick Süskind is so very, very good. If I had to choose a favourite, I guess it would be him, because everything I've read from him is perfect in my eyes. And yet I have this intense weakness for Fay Weldon; sometimes her style will annoy me at the halfway point of her books, but I still love them, and I've loved her since I was 13, so that's definitely the longest I've loved a living author.
Anyways. The two reigning sentiments I've got on the question are that at least I don't have to choose, and that it's annoying that there are so many authors whose books I haven't read yet, and shows I haven't used my time effectively.