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To feel a bit ill about David Walliams?

(356 Posts)
HelloYouTwo Fri 22-Nov-19 11:15:50

Apparently he’s made over £100m from his books. shock

There are so many better books out there than that pile of repetitive mildly racist, stereotype-laden junk that he peddles off the back of being a bit famous. I feel sorry for all the decent non-celeb authors out there.

News article if anyone interested:

Zaphodsotherhead Fri 22-Nov-19 11:18:43

As a poverty-stricken non-celeb author - thank you.

BillieEilish Fri 22-Nov-19 11:20:07

My DD adored his books, we are moving and so they're all going to charity/schools (loads of books) and she is insisting on keeping 'The boy in the Dress'

She cried when she read it.

Whattodoabout Fri 22-Nov-19 11:21:38

My DS loves his books. I’m not sure what your issue is, author writes books and makes money from selling said books?

GOATmum Fri 22-Nov-19 11:22:26

All my dc love his books and have read them not knowing who he is. If you think you can do better, a cheap pad and biro is about £1.10. Crack on.

MisfitNinja Fri 22-Nov-19 11:23:09

My DD loves his books.
I can't say I'm a massive fan of them

00100001 Fri 22-Nov-19 11:23:27

Maybe it's because they wouldn't sell if it didn't have his name on?

MoltoAgitato Fri 22-Nov-19 11:23:49

I don’t like him, he sets off my creep radar. I appreciate that I have made an entirely helpful, pertinent and insightful contribution to your threadgrin

OakleyStreetisnotinChelsea Fri 22-Nov-19 11:23:57

I'm not keen on them either. MIL keeps buying them for the kids because of course they get so well promoted. The kids don't even read them.

MarshallPNutt Fri 22-Nov-19 11:24:07

If the arts only paid to people who deserved it, it would be a very different world.

It's no different than some actors being paid several millions when they are not strictly the best actor for the role, but simply the most famous.

Ultimately, Walliams is selling a product that millions of people want to buy. People rarely buy the produts with the most objective merit. They buy what they want.

HelloYouTwo Fri 22-Nov-19 11:24:18

My issue is that his books are shit and they only got published because he was already a celebrity. And it turns into a band wagon where he can keep writing more books exactly the same as the last one and still get published, use his contacts for spin off TV and theatre etc. It’s a race to the bottom in terms of quality.

I have no issue with getting reluctant readers reading but I suspect they get stuck on the treadmill of only reading crap and never progressing to anything better.

Andcake Fri 22-Nov-19 11:24:24

Working in publishing I know the impact of celeb authors on the quality of kids books as so much good work is ignored.
Adults mostly buy kids books and find it easier to navigate by celebs they know 😳

00100001 Fri 22-Nov-19 11:25:17

Some might say, as long as kids are reading, that's good thing?

I always thought books like Horrid Henry were bloody awful. But kids read the entire lot. And all the others we thought were awful.

It's almost as if adults aren't the target audience for these books ;)

Zaphodsotherhead Fri 22-Nov-19 11:26:25

I think OP's issue is that celebrities are far more likely to get books taken on by publishing houses, given huge promo budgets and used as The Face of a publisher, when their books may be sub-standard or just not as good as other books that don't get given the same advantage or push.

The books sell because of who the author is, not what the book is like. I have no axe to grind with DW because I don't write children's books, but the same issue is rife in adult publishing. A TV 'star' is 'told' by their agent to write a book, gets a ghost writer in who is paid peanuts, turns in a standard 'written by numbers' book and the publishers pay to get that book to the front of best seller lists and bookshops.

It's not a level playing field.

But it is what it is and lots of us write because we love it, our publishers like our books but don't have the budget to put us all on the side of buses, so we sell in a trickle and make peanuts. And in the meantime, the rich get richer.

HelloYouTwo Fri 22-Nov-19 11:26:31

I’m not a writer by the way! But do you really think that if unknown nobody David Walliams had sat down with his biro and pad of A4 and sent the result to an agent that he would have had the same success?!

ShinyNewNameTime Fri 22-Nov-19 11:27:23

My 7yo loves them. No matter how hard I try to get him to love the books I did as a child - Harry Potter, Michael Morpurgo etc all he really wants are fart jokes, evil teachers and grannies flashing their knickers.

MonChatEstMagnifique Fri 22-Nov-19 11:29:08

Yes, YABU.

My daughter and loads of kids we know really enjoy his books. When my daughter first read his books, she didn't know who he was but has since seen him on Britains Got Talent and found him very funny. I really like him but there's a lot of hate for him on Mumsnet. But then lots of people on Mumsnet seem to hate most famous, rich people so I'm not surprised.

Aquilla Fri 22-Nov-19 11:29:51

Would you have the money redistributed by force, op? Because that's the alternative. Let me guess, you're voting for Labour?

backinthebox Fri 22-Nov-19 11:30:07

We downloaded one of his audiobooks once to listen to with the kids in the car. It was read by the author, which usually means you hear the story as he intended it to sound. The reviews said it was a typical David Walliams hilarious tale, possibly his best to date. We listened to about 6 chapters before we gave up on it. There was not a single redeeming character in the book, and the way he read them they were all sneery, unpleasant kids described in a very 'I'm too cool to actually read this in anything but a nasal whine' way. Nothing exciting or funny happened at any point in the 6 chapters we heard, but the characters did a lot of complaining about stuff. We decided that if this was possibly his best book to date we would pass on any others.

I wouldn't say it makes me feel ill though. I don't feel sorry for all the non-celeb authors out there - there are many extremely good authors who write brilliant books that kids love. You just have to sometimes help your kids find them because a child doesn't know what they don't know, iyswim, and sometimes its a leap of faith for them to read or listen to an author they have never listened to before.

I just want to add that on the same journey we listened to The Wizards of Once and How to Train Your Dragon by Cressida Cowell and read by David Tennant, and they were brilliant. All her books (mostly read by David Tennant) are fabulous. It took a bit to persuade my kids to give them a go as they are quite invested in the idea of Hiccup and Toothless in the films, but David Tennant is brilliant and my kids were laughing out loud in places. We also had Wolf Brother read by Ian McKellen, and frankly he could have been reading a shopping list out and it would have been dramatic. Kensuki's Island by Michael Morpurgo and read by Derek Jacobi persuaded my daughter that she might read a bit more Michael Morpurgo after being put off it at school.

IamMadameX Fri 22-Nov-19 11:30:32

I’m not a writer by the way! But do you really think that if unknown nobody David Walliams had sat down with his biro and pad of A4 and sent the result to an agent that he would have had the same success?!

Of course not but unfortunately and the sales prove it, A celeb name sells, not read the books so can't comment.

DriftingLeaves Fri 22-Nov-19 11:31:53

He's a loathsome toad. No amount of money will change that.

Leedsmom Fri 22-Nov-19 11:32:30

I don’t like the books and I don’t like him. But DS loves them and they have got him reading and writing. He’s written his own ‘worlds worst children 4’-4 chapters, pages and pages of writing whereas before it was a struggle to get a few sentences. It’s a pretty good imitation of walliam’s style too (although I’m not sure if that says more about walliams than Ds grin)

DH has tweeted David Williams photos of DS’s book but I’m not holding out much hope of a response!

anothernamejeeves Fri 22-Nov-19 11:32:50

Racist? Would you like to elaborate?

Happyhusband Fri 22-Nov-19 11:33:00

Kids read what they like. He is popular. I was reading Sven Hassel war porn by the time I was 11 which friends say explains a lot about me.

BillieEilish Fri 22-Nov-19 11:33:23

We live in Spain and Spanish DD has NO idea who he is, nor frankly do I have much idea, no English TV.

Just saw on Amazon top sellers for children of that age group years ago and gave one of several different authors a go at Christmas and Jaqueline Wilson and David Walliams were huge hits.

So I carried on buying.

I repeat, she has no idea he is famous and her friends would certainly not be reading these books, so no peer pressure.

Oh, and my Dsis is a sucessful published childrens author and buys them for my nephew, her child.

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