I don't have a good track record with ye old classics. I've found a lot of them quite dated, regardless of how ahead of their time they once were, andI don't have a good track record with ye old classics. I've found a lot of them quite dated, regardless of how ahead of their time they once were, and others just a bit too... stiff & stuffy for my liking. I just I connect with contemporary books more easily. Hot off the press. That's how I like it. But I thought I'd test the waters again and I ended up with Silas Marner as my test subject.
I found my enjoyment of it, and lack of, a bit of a roller coaster. I quite enjoyed the opening chapters and could really appreciate the fine writing. But then I hit a massive bump all of a sudden: there was a scene with a bar of old codgers talking a godawful load of codswallop, and I couldn't wait for it to end. I found it really unpleasant to listen to. I thought I might have to abandon the book completely. I wasn't quite sure if it was the actual dialog, or the narrator of the audiobook, but I switched from audio to Kindle and it was definitely less unpleasant reading it myself. And there probably wasn't such another big chunk of dense dialogue again.
Then I found there were definite peaks and troughs in the actual story. Not much different than a lot of books but overall it really added to my rollercoaster experience of this book. It went up and down through the range of star ratings from 1 to 4. I settled on an overall 3.
A worthwhile exercise, and not a terrible experience overall. But I'm definitely happier with more contemporary work (though not necessarily a contemporary setting) and I don't see any reason to break from that comfort zone again any time soon. There are amazing new books out all the time and I'll mostly be sticking to them thanks very much. Some people don't read sci-fi or other genres. I don't read old classics. So that's that. ...more
Three stars might seem low. But in Goodreads terms that's supposed to be "I liked it", which I did.
I really liked Andy Weir's sense of humour, channeThree stars might seem low. But in Goodreads terms that's supposed to be "I liked it", which I did.
I really liked Andy Weir's sense of humour, channeled through Watney.
There was just a bit too many descriptive action scenes for my liking though. I tend to drift off when there's too much of that. In theory it should be interesting to see how he resolves various problems with his engineering skills. I guess MacGyver antics work a lot better on screen than in print. For me at least....more
2. I click the Barnes and Noble link, and then click on something called "THere was my experience of The Interestings.
1. I google "best books of 2013"
2. I click the Barnes and Noble link, and then click on something called "The Interestings"
3. I read "She's every bit as literary as Franzen or Eugenides" - ooh! that's me completely sold!
4. Initial excitement wanes quickly. I'm thinking "This is as literary as Bridget Jones' Diary" and then I just get more and more annoyed with the book and the characters. It reads more to me like an average Young Adult novel featuring teenagers who are smug enough and annoying enough to call themselves "The Interestings" (even if tongue-in-cheek).
5. Maybe a third of the way and finally start to get over the fact that Meg Wolitzer is not in the same league as Franzen or Euginedes by a long shot. I try not to let expectation be the sole destroyer of this book. I try to appreciate it on it's own terms but I'm still annoyed with a few things. Even if the way-overhyped quotes in best-of-the-year lists don't ruin by high expectation alone, the title doesn't do it any favours either. They're not that interesting! And someone needs to tell Wolitzer about "show don't tell". She keeps *telling* us how funny Jules is yet she never made me laugh once.
I think the cruel truth here is that Wolitzer is a lot less interesting and funny than she thinks she is, which is just another bullet this book shoots itself in the foot with.
Despite all of the above, I didn't hate it - I enjoyed a lot of it but if it had a different title, and I stumbled across it in less magnanimous context, I might have enjoyed it a hell of a lot more.
Entertaining enough but it came so highly recommended from an audio book review site, that I found it extremely over-hyped and ultimately quite disappEntertaining enough but it came so highly recommended from an audio book review site, that I found it extremely over-hyped and ultimately quite disappointing. It was just a bit too light and flimsy for me; it could have almost been a children's book.
Some of the smaller stories were amusing enough. The humour was almost Douglas Adams like but not quite.
I think the biggest problem I had with the book is that it just wasn't good enough to justify the length. If it was half the size, I might not have got so bored and annoyed with it....more
Pretty much a children's book. Well more like a "Universal". Funny and sweet in a through-the-eyes-of-a-child kind of way. Still quite enjoyable for sPretty much a children's book. Well more like a "Universal". Funny and sweet in a through-the-eyes-of-a-child kind of way. Still quite enjoyable for such a light read.
Set against a backdrop of four wars (Falklands, warring parents, a stammer & bullies) Black Swan Green is a wonderfully nostalgic tribute to eightSet against a backdrop of four wars (Falklands, warring parents, a stammer & bullies) Black Swan Green is a wonderfully nostalgic tribute to eighties childhood without being too rose-coloured. ...more
I don't understand why more people don't write like Franzen; portraying the struggles, frustrations and complications of everyday life that are rightI don't understand why more people don't write like Franzen; portraying the struggles, frustrations and complications of everyday life that are right there in front of us. Like Frank Skinner sticking it to other songwriters “Apparently there's a whole world out there somewhere. It's right there, right there”.
Maybe most people do read to escape but I just get frustrated with unrealistic fiction. If the characters and the world they live in aren’t real, I don’t care about anything else in the book. Apart from deliberate surrealism of course. Maybe it’s because you’d really have to put so much of yourself and your loved ones in there to render such well drawn characters. Is that what makes it so hard for other writers?
So I loved Freedom. I was really looking forward to it and it lived up to expectations and ticked all my authenticity boxes. I was always dying to get back to it and see what everyone was up to and spend some more time in their company. Not that I necessarily liked them. They all had likable and dis-likable traits, which in itself is just another healthy dose of reality.
Oh and you have to laugh at the fact that poo scenes are now his calling card. ...more