I had no idea this book was centered around baseball when I started it. I tried for three long weeks to get into it, but I really just can't force mysI had no idea this book was centered around baseball when I started it. I tried for three long weeks to get into it, but I really just can't force myself to care. It may be a great book, I know that Duncan is certainly an expressive writer, but it just wasn't for me....more
I can't do it. I hate audiobooks. I just don't have the opportunity to listen to them as closely as I should. If I miss even a single sentence read byI can't do it. I hate audiobooks. I just don't have the opportunity to listen to them as closely as I should. If I miss even a single sentence read by the narrator, it seems as though that may sway my entire understanding of the book, which is really aggravating. I feel like I'm missing out on so much by not seeing the structure of the text on the page.
This in no way should impugn the quality of the book, I'm sure it's up to Palahniuk's reliable standard, it's just not in a medium that I've ever been good with. Even in school I gleaned far more from the reading than in lecture, I just have real difficulties in paying that close of attention to spoken words. I'll try this again once I get my hands on a physical copy....more
So, I have a complaint. It's not Saramago-specific, but he is the latest in a long line of authors that I've noticed using this trick/device/method. MSo, I have a complaint. It's not Saramago-specific, but he is the latest in a long line of authors that I've noticed using this trick/device/method. More and more I find authors using long lists as a way of describing something, as if an extensive vocabulary can hide someone's lack of a point. This niggling little issue has been eating at me recently because I've taken to reading books aloud and find myself running short of breath halfway through these interminable lists. It finally wiggled its way up into my consciousness yesterday as I was reading The Cave and Saramago embarked on a multi-page description of all the different types of people in an encyclopedia. Musketeers and eskimos and mandarins and aborigines and nurses and nuns and politicians and generals and construction workers and schoolteachers and bodhisatvas and arctic explorers and on and on and on. I GET IT!!! But is he done? Hell no! He needs to describe the minutiae of each person's wardrobe and coloring! Having this come right on the heels of a multi-page discourse on cliches and their authoritarian nature (which included a listing of nearly every possible cliche ever) was the straw that broke this camel's back (Yeah, I used one. What about it?).
The most egregious promulgator of this technique is easily Tom Robbins, who never uses two or three descriptors when a dozen will do. A brain is never just a mound of tissue when we have a minimum word count to reach and it can be described as having "...webs and cords and stems and ridges and fissures... glands and nodes and nerves and lobes and fluids, with its capacity to perceive and analyze and refine and edit and store, with its talent for orchestrating emotions ranging from eye-rolling ecstasy to loose-bowel fear, with its appetite for input its generosity of output..." Great, I get it. You have a copy of Gray's Anatomy sitting next to you and you really want your reader to understand the depths of the brain. But this is just one of the things described in this page-long chapter. I can understand the desire, but you would think that it would be a more effective device were it employed more sparingly. An abundance of information is not a replacement for character development.
I think the reason that I've never added this to my read list on GR is that I have read it twice now and still have as little clue as to what it's aboI think the reason that I've never added this to my read list on GR is that I have read it twice now and still have as little clue as to what it's about as I did before I had even heard of it.
I enjoyed the dialogues between the tortoise and the hair and I thrilled at the moments that mentioned M.C. Escher (more because it was a name I recognized than for any other reason) but still think that it's one that is going to need a dedicated and thorough reread this summer if I'm ever to recover my self respect. It hurts to be defeated by a book....more
680 pages in and I can't do it anymore. I thought I was getting into a Utopian novel, not Victorian romances and eloquent descriptions of the forests680 pages in and I can't do it anymore. I thought I was getting into a Utopian novel, not Victorian romances and eloquent descriptions of the forests of a fictional continent. It's as though someone threw Walden into Sense & Sensibility. This book is great for someone, but that person is not me....more
One of the most painful books that I have ever forced myself to read. I was a bit trepidatious before picking it up owing to the poor experience I hadOne of the most painful books that I have ever forced myself to read. I was a bit trepidatious before picking it up owing to the poor experience I had with Handmaid's Tale, but figured that Atwood deserved another chance. No longer. I will not force myself to read something that leaves me cold and unmoved.
The saving grace, if there is one, is the story-within-a-story of The Blind Assassin. Unfortunately these interludes are few and far between. The majority of the story is about a woman looking back on her life as a high-flying member of Toronto society between the two World Wars. Yawn. Does the world really need another book about a woman chaffing at the social constraints of yesteryear? Have we read Kate Chopin? Yes? Well then you don't need to waste the time on this book.
I should have followed the Nancy Pearl rule of 100 pages for this one, but I have never been one to put a book down.