Got to love this. Nick Mamatas reviews what seems a rather formulaic piece of “mainstream” fiction, written as a parody of the way Literary Fiction snobs routinely dismiss genre fiction.
As is well known, literary fiction is not taken very seriously by superior readers because the form is essentially formula. The protagonists are stock characters, a small handful of dramatic situations are raked over time and again, innovation is despised and mere competence celebrated (literary writing is even called “a craft”, along the lines of cabinetmaking or macramé), and all of the other elements of fiction are subsumed to tedious moral lessons suited primarily to the adolescents and arrested adolescents that read the stuff.
Read the whole thing, and it restates the case that “literary fiction” is as much a genre as science-fiction, romance or crime. It even identifies the genre’s defining tropes, one of which seems to be “Nothing apart from adultery happens until the very end of the book”.