Two words: Totally. Horrible. I can't even describe to you why. And do I sense an "I am Number Four" rip off? I don't know about you, but number Four'...moreTwo words: Totally. Horrible. I can't even describe to you why. And do I sense an "I am Number Four" rip off? I don't know about you, but number Four's name is really hitting me as suspicious... I wouldn't recommend this for anyone to read unless they want to inflict themselves with hours and hours of torturous frustration. I want to strangle Tris. Plus, I hate books like this that get raves they don't deserve.(less)
He's mean and whiny, and more than a bit obnoxious.
His anecdotes of disgusting artwork and his boyfriend's odd African expe...moreI don't like David Sedaris.
He's mean and whiny, and more than a bit obnoxious.
His anecdotes of disgusting artwork and his boyfriend's odd African experiences have a sort of Gilderoy Lockhart-esque feel to them. That is to say, they seem fabricated and insincere.
He's not very funny at all. The only time I actually laughed while reading this book was when he was lamenting his terrible French grammar. Although I fail to understand the difficulty he has in remembering French sexes; as a teenager taking Chinese, recognizing characters and recalling the different measure words for every object seems to come pretty easily to me.
His stories make out all Americans to be snobbish and rude, and they don't exactly flatter the supposedly unhelpful and stuck-up French, either.
By page 100, I was peeking ahead, wondering, "How much more of this IS there?"
Ultimately, I just don't see the point to this book. It feels like he's just trying to say, "Ohhh, look at me! Isn't my life so weird? Aren't I just sooooo clever?"
Well, Mr. Sedaris, your life certainly is weird. Or rather, your stories are. And to answer your second question: no. Your pun-ridden chapter titles and cynical outlook on everything in life may be enough to amuse some for a while, but they are in no way clever or funny or even original.
Looking back, perhaps that really WAS the reason Sedaris wrote this book- to prove his intelligence. The hopes that he might secretly be a genius, his disappointment in his low IQ, his dreams of being a scientist, pretending he had written Vladimir Nabokov's classic Lolita... If that is the case, it suddenly makes all of these stories- these stories of a man without a clear path to follow, a man just looking for something he can maybe be okay at- incredibly saddening.
Regrettably, Mr. Sedaris will have to add not impressing me to his ever-growing list of failures.(less)
**spoiler alert** Okay. I'm going to be really blunt. This book sucked. And that's saying quite a bit because normally, I respect people who write abo...more**spoiler alert** Okay. I'm going to be really blunt. This book sucked. And that's saying quite a bit because normally, I respect people who write about hardships from (as it appears) their own point of view. ESPECIALLY when it's on a GLTBQ theme. However, this book was just plain out terrible.
Firstly, it lead me to the conclusion that ALL Iowans are essentially white-trash and spend the majority of the day smoking weed and other potentially nastier stuff. Which is probably not the intention, as the author is FROM Iowa. And thanks to him, I NEVER WANT TO STEP FOOT IN THAT STATE CUZ I MIGHT GET AMBUSHED BY DRUG DEALERS AND FARMERS-TURNED-SALESMEN WHO HAVE POETIC MISTRESSES AND TONS AND TONS OF FREAKY PEOPLE.
Secondly, the parents, like a lot in modern fiction, are completely isolated from themselves and their child. You would think that they would retain at least a small bit of personability from their days living on a farm... But technically, it's not really their fault I hated this book- they just came to mind.
But you will notice that NONE of the straight characters in this book are portrayed positively. The mom: hippie odditiy who is severely (hehe, first thing that pops up in google searched when you check to see if you spelled severe right: severus snape/lily evans fanfiction. i love you google.) depressed. The dad: lonely, sad, and having an affair with someone from his POETRY CLASS. Judy: Pablo's girlfriend, she's MAD at Dade for sleeping with her boyfriend! God forbid! Plus, she's got big boobs, the creeper! Jessica: Judy's annoying tag-a-long best friend who is nasty to Dade because he's gay and in an affair with her best friend's boyfriend and totally horrible to her twin sister. "Fessica": The name says it all. Dade is just a total ass to this girl. When she gets wasted at her sister's party, Dade helps her upstairs and lays her on her bed. She likes Dade. She's a sad loner. She tries to make a move on Dade. Dade, of course, is totally outraged and hates Fessica. Even though she didn't actually do anything. She just said she liked him. Notice that that's pretty much the same thing that Pablo did to him, the hypocrite. (Mind you, Pablo actually TRIED to make it up to Dade... But instead of being nice or at least courteous and explaining he'd moved on, Dade is a jerk and screams at Pablo, eventually forcing him to drive himself off a cliff. Literally.) So what are you, Dade? Hetrophobic?
Third: Dade. Is. Pathetic. I know plenty of people- gay, straight, and five years old and NONE of them are as completely SAD as Dade. I mean, he tags along with this stoner because he "loves" him and then when dumped, cries like a little girl. He knows that their relationship is based purely on physical satisfaction, and yet yearns for more. Okay, I can get that. Many people feel like that. But THEN, as soon as he sets his eyes upon Alex, 20-year-old-incredibly-hot-drug-dealer-YES-drug-dealer, he falls head over heals. And to take matters further, he practically STALKS him and finds him at his workplace, just to try to meet him. And when the guy he supposedly "LOVED" begs for him to come back, he refuses and proceeds to get super super drunk. Twice. And then he angsts some more in the end when Pablo commits suicide BECAUSE HE CAN'T HANDLE THE COMPLICATIONS DADE CAUSED. And yet Dade worries constantly about his depressed mother. Totally ridiculous.
Fourth, the plot is amazingly dumb and seemingly haphazardly thrown together. 10 Main Points of The Vast Fields of Ordinary: 1) I am Dade, 18 years old and gay, and I'm dejected because Pablo, my "boyfriend", is being passive. 2) OH NOZIZ! A LITTLE GIRL'S LOST! 3) Forget the little girl. I FOUND A TOTALLY CUTE MARIJUANA DEALER THAT I WANT TO MAKE MY NEW BOYFRIEND! 4) Hey, I just randomly met a lesbian from like a state that starts with a C! She's my best friend now- so awesome, RIGHT? 5) GASP! ALEX THE DRUG DEALER INVITED ME TO A PARTY!! ZOMG I HAVE TO SHAVE MY HEAD! AND YAYYYY ALEX IS GAY TOO! 6) TRALALA I'M DRUNK... OHHHH THERES THAT LITTLE GIRL WHO DISAPPEARED! HEY I REMEMBER HER NOW... 7) Pablo wants me back. BUT I'M TOO COOL. :P 8) MY PARENTS ARE GONE! IMMA GET EVEN MOAR DRUNK! (Hey! That little girl was found! Funny how things like this always seem to happen when I'm wasted...) 9) YAY HAPPY... WAIT WHAT? PABLO? NO HE CAN'T BE DEAD! BUT... BUT... OH NO PABLO!!! 10) The end. And now I'm gonna write ALL ABOUT this experience and SHARE IT WITH THE WORLD! AND GUESS WHAT? I THINK I'LL CALL IT THE VAST FIELDS OF ORDINARY! *GASP* See? 10 pretty much random and fairly nonsensical steps to WRITE A GLTBQ BOOK AND GET GREAT REVIEWS WITHOUT HAVING ANY PLOT WHATSOEVER!!! So hip-hip-hooray for you, Nick Burd. Now you've made your fortune and maybe you'll be able to pay for classes on producing plots that make sense. Because, after all, you're from Iowa, right?(less)
I did not hate the actual premise of the book, but I did find it to be really cliche. Even with the book tour part. And although it is not poorly writ...moreI did not hate the actual premise of the book, but I did find it to be really cliche. Even with the book tour part. And although it is not poorly written, I thought most of the characters were very unlikeable. For instance, Luke is hugely hypocritical and obnoxious, Matthew is a jerk, Colin cares only about money, Teresa is an airhead, that old guy from page 44 is just very rude, and Luke and Matt's parents live in the Stone Age. Overall, I was really disappointed by this book because I liked the author's other YA novel, Five Flavors Of Dumb.(less)