Dear Mr. Brown: Exposition, you're doing it wrong.
...And everything else too, actually.
Seriously, what even is this? I don't. I can't even. Words, I d...moreDear Mr. Brown: Exposition, you're doing it wrong.
...And everything else too, actually.
Seriously, what even is this? I don't. I can't even. Words, I don't have them. There simply does not exist any adequate method through which to describe how truly, unequivocally, awe-inspiringly fucking awful this shit really is, unless it's by measuring the wailing and gnashing of teeth I did while reading it.
This has got to be the single worst book I've ever read in my entire life, except for Angels Demons, and the only reason I consider The Da Vinci Code marginally better is because it was shorter, thus subjecting me to several hundred pages less of its utter godawfulness. Other than that, there is absolutely nothing redeeming this steaming pile of pseudo-literary excrement. NOTHING. It's trite, it's formulaic, it's predictable, the plot progression is laughable, the writing itself is so ridiculously bad I nearly wept, the characterizations are wooden, the dialogue is bland and often unbelievable (NOBODY TALKS LIKE THAT, DAN, WHAT THE FUCK), and quite frankly, it's a little bit insulting how all these super hard secret clues are pretty painfully obvious to anyone who isn't, you know, A COMPLETE AND UTTER MORON. It's pretty much like Dan Brown assumed anyone who read his book would only be as smart as his characters, which means, basically, he thinks we're all fucking retarded.
Which, okay, yeah. I can actually see that. I mean, only EVERY SINGLE PERSON ON THE PLANET was raving about this book back in the day. What the actual fuck, you guys? Did I, like, wake up in some wacky alternate universe where nobody has any fucking taste? This book isn't worth the paper it's printed on, and it sure as hell isn't worth all the attention paid to it. Controversial? Please. There's nothing particularly shocking or revelatory in this book, certainly nothing that couldn't be better learned by studying history, and the only thing Brown did, anyway, was take some of the juicier facts and throw them into a tired old storyline with some religion, then mix it all together with a lot of wild speculation to create his premise. BECAUSE NOBODY HAS EVER DONE THAT BEFORE. NO ONE HAS EVER TAKEN ACTUAL HISTORICAL EVENTS AND RECOGNIZABLE ELEMENTS OF OUR SOCIETY AND USED THEM IN A FICTIONAL STORY ABOUT FICTIONAL PEOPLE DOING FICTIONAL SHIT. HOW AVANT GARDE.
In summation: a team of brain-diseased Rhesus monkeys armed with typewriters could bang out something of higher literary quality than this shit.
I didn't enjoy this book quite as much I'd thought I would. The plays weren't exactly bad, but neither were they what I expected of classic literature...moreI didn't enjoy this book quite as much I'd thought I would. The plays weren't exactly bad, but neither were they what I expected of classic literature that won awards and whatnot way back in the Wayback, which leads me to wonder whether this might not be one of the better translations. Mr. Roche certainly seems to think himself extremely clever (judging by the lengthy self-masturbatory introduction explaining his own personal method of translation--about which I care not at all--and the massive amount of swotty little footnotes, most of which I could have done without), but I beg to differ, and it's unfortunate that his is the first translation I happened to read because I doubt I'll take the time to read a different one.
All else aside, the plays themselves are rather interesting and somewhat educational, insofar as lending insight into the lives and culture of the ancient Greeks, and I would certainly recommend them to my fellow nerds. I particularly recommend Plutus, which is not only the best of the four, but is also an important piece of literature as being among the first generation of New Comedy. I just don't recommend Roche's particular translation.(less)