**spoiler alert** Wow, I'm kind of amazed at how much I didn't like this book. It sounds right up my alley, all bleak dystopia and careful, realistic...more**spoiler alert** Wow, I'm kind of amazed at how much I didn't like this book. It sounds right up my alley, all bleak dystopia and careful, realistic details about how an epidemic of infertility would change the social and cultural landscape. And don't get me wrong; those details were enthralling, and I enjoyed those bits; they were very well-considered and well-constructed.
However, the main character is your typical intellectual over-privileged older white guy who somehow manages to become the hero for apparently no reason other than he's an intellectual over-privileged white guy. I felt no sympathy at all for Theo; I didn't really understand why dissidents would approach him for help when it would be fairly clear to anyone observing him that he's completely passive,passionless,and inert.
I certainly didn't understand why Julian would in any way, shape, or form feel like Theo was her hero/saviour, or why she would put her faith, and the safety of her child [the only child on earth], in him. There's nothing about Theo that inspired any feelings of security or confidence that he would be competent enough to make a cup of tea, much less take care of the only pregnant woman on the planet.
Frankly I had no idea that the author was female until I Googled; the book came across so strongly like a weird fantasy-fulfillment that I thought it had to be written by an intellectual over-privileged white older English guy.(less)
Well, since the trailer's out, and we're ramping up towards the movie, I'm just going to leave this here: If you think the entire point of The Hunger...moreWell, since the trailer's out, and we're ramping up towards the movie, I'm just going to leave this here: If you think the entire point of The Hunger Games trilogy is "OMG which boy will Katniss pick?!?!?!" You. Are. Doing. It. Wrong.(less)
I'm prepared to get pelted with rotten vegetables and bricks and all manner of nasty things, but....Watchmen didn't really do anything for me. In fact...moreI'm prepared to get pelted with rotten vegetables and bricks and all manner of nasty things, but....Watchmen didn't really do anything for me. In fact, I was so "meh" about it that I had to go do some research in order to see if I could figure out just why, exactly, it's so acclaimed.
I found a very interesting thesis someone had written (if anyone would like to read it, comment and I'll try to find it again), which gave me some nice historical background on the history of comics in general and the evolution of superhero comics, and it did indeed explain to me why Watchmen would have rocked the comics industry's boat when it was first published, why people would have been in awe over the idea that superheroes aren't necessarily upstanding and perfect and admirable, and that comics could be a medium to tell a complex story.
However - I've never really been a superhero girl. Christopher Reeves Superman and Adam West Batman was about as into it as I got until the recent trend of superhero movies. 60s Batman was just for the camp, even as a kid, and Superman has always been far too Big Blue Boy Scout to really be interesting to me. The only comics I've ever read with any regularity until recently are Elfquest, Sandman, and Preacher.
What this means in relation to my reaction is that I've never had a preconcieved idea of what superheroes or comics are "supposed" to be. Watchmen didn't fly in the face of my dearly-held beliefs that superheroes are "supposed" to be better than "normal" people, more moral and capable and, well, heroic, because I didn't have those beliefs to be challenged. It didn't change my idea of what comics are "supposed" to be, because I've never considered comics incapable of complexity or moral ambiguity or sophistication. I've never thought comics are "just for kids".
I do understand, intellectually, that Sandman and Preacher quite possibly would not exist except for the success of Watchmen. However, since my experience was formed by reading comics that came afterWatchmen, and I sought out the not-exactly-mainstream variety of comics, Watchmen was pretty much what I expect from comics, and in no way unusual.
Like I said, I can appreciate, historically, why it was unusual at the time. It's just not unusual in my experience, and therefore, I found it more or less average.
Also, sorry, I find the art dreadful and the resolution far, far too manufactured, and an unwieldly info-dump besides. (less)
As you can see, I really didn't like this book. The characters were one-dimensional and evoked no identification/sympathy whatsoever in me, the conspi...moreAs you can see, I really didn't like this book. The characters were one-dimensional and evoked no identification/sympathy whatsoever in me, the conspiracy was utterly incomprehensible, and oh my God, the exposition. There were huge chunks of exposition that, frankly, just bored the hell out of me while simultaneously not explaining a thing. I only kept reading it because I was at work, and didn't have another book with me. Actually, that's probably my strongest impression of what I did read - it bored the hell out of me.