Thursday, August 21, 2008

A few books I didn't finish

The older I get, the less I want to waste time on books I'm not enjoying. (Now if I could just apply that logic to a certain TV show that I am obsessively watching online. Well, I guess I'm enjoying that. Wasting time, yes, but enjoying it!)

The Constant Gardener by John le Carre

This is well-written and has a fascinating setting, but about halfway through I realized that I didn't give a flying crap what happened to the characters, so I put it down.

No! I Don't Want to Join a Book Club: Diary of a Sixtieth Year by Virginia Ironside

Mildly entertaining, but the narrator's cavalier attitude about her three past abortions bugged me too much.

Just Like Heaven or If Only It Were True by Marc Levy

I really like the movie Just Like Heaven, so I thought it would be fun to read the novel on which it was based--I'd heard that it was pretty different from the movie and I was curious. But this book would make a perfect anti-textbook for a creative writing class; everything a writer should never do is included here, and I couldn't get past it. I guess I'm just glad that someone out there made a decent romantic comedy out of it, though I can't imagine how this book got published in the first place.

Also, "If Only It Were True" joins my list of terrible titles.

3 comments:

  1. That bad? I want to hear the list of "everything a writer should never do." It's funny how I thought I hadn't read it and then sort of remembered I had and as you were reading it, I remembered more and more about it and how I hadn't liked it.

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  2. Off the top of my head, there's a whole lot of telling instead of showing. Isn't that how it goes? The worst thing about the book is the dialog, which consists of stuff like "He told her that ... " blah blah blah, for paragraphs sometimes. Every now and then there was a direct quote thrown in for no apparent reason. So, no real dialog. There's a lot of description of furniture, too. Pages of...what's that called?...past perfect, where the author is explaining stuff that happened before: "She'd come home, she'd gone up the stairs four at time, she had talked baby talk to her dog," etc. (and she really did go up the stairs four at a time, as she was coming home after a 27-hour shift or something. Firstly, who goes up stairs four at time? Jon only does three at a time, and he's a tall guy. And secondly, so much energy after working 27 hours? I don't think so). Also, really boring descriptions of the main character searching for information on the internet! I'm sure there was more, but I've put it out of my head.

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  3. "flying crap"? Like at the zoo?

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