I much preferred Jeffrey Deaver's Bond novel, even though Faulkes is regarded by critics as a literary heavyweight and Deaver as 'merely' a popular author.
I think that's such a spurious distinction, between "literary" and "popular" fiction.
Oh, I absolutely agree - that's why I was careful to place the word 'merely' in inverted commas and to state that that it was critics who held this view.
I feel compelled to include a link to what is almost certainly the most snobbish, irritating and pretentious article I have ever read. Read it and prepare to be angered and never to want to read anything by the writer again.