My New Year’s Resolution is to give up on books that aren’t outstanding. I don’t want to miss out on a gem that happens to have a poor beginning, so I hope that you can help me sort the wheat from the chaff. Should I continue reading any of these books?
I loved the beginning of this book. The writing was outstanding – perfectly capturing life in the Australian outback. But after about 80 pages it lost some of its initial momentum and I found that other books called to me more loudly. It has been two weeks since I last picked up this book and as time goes on I’m wondering if I should make the effort to get back into it. Does this book have more to offer than fantastic writing? Will I be surprised and gripped by the plot later in the book?
A few people have been suggesting that Adam Mars-Jones’ latest book, Cedilla, will make the Booker long list this year and so I thought I should try the first book in the series so that I’m not left with two enormous chunksters to get through before the short list is revealed. Once again I fell in love with the writing, but after about 150 pages without any hint of a plot I became frustrated. I need more than random observations about life to keep me entertained, but I suspect that this book isn’t going to provide me with any. Does this book change in style a bit further on?
I had been looking forward to reading TC Boyle’s latest book, but I wonder if it is a victim of my high expectations. There were some great sections explaining how the introduction of species to non-native areas has caused havoc, but the fiction elements were disappointing. I didn’t connect with the characters and found the plot weak. I stopped after about 80 pages. Should I persevere?
I had heard amazing things about this book. The central character is a Nazi war criminal and the book tells his story backwards, so that whenever you see him healing someone you know that he actually killed them. Having a book that is able to be read both forwards and backwards is a very clever idea, but the problem was that this book often didn’t make sense when read forwards. I found myself having to read whole sections (especially the conversations) backwards in order to work out what was happening. I guess I’m just frustrated by all these books that try to make reading about the Holocaust palatable. I prefer to read something like The Kindly Ones that tells you exactly what happened without the use of fancy metaphors. Will reading to the end reduce my frustrations with this book?
Other books abandoned recently:
The Book of Human Skin – Michelle Lovric
Repeat it Today with Tears – Anne Peile