**spoiler alert** I was really disappointed with this book. The first half was easy enough to read and then I started getting bored. Sebold rehashed t...more**spoiler alert** I was really disappointed with this book. The first half was easy enough to read and then I started getting bored. Sebold rehashed the same old 'poignant' lines which was just frustrating after a while. However, if that was the only problem I had I wouldn't be complaining.
I thought that the ending was nauseatingly shit; falling to earth into a body to have sex with some guy who we didn't really care about ... for no reason? Was it supposed to be a tear-jerker moment because I felt like throwing the book against the wall. Perhaps I was just confused because she'd watched her murderer stalk her sister hours (minutes?) beforehand and didn't use the opportunity on earth to confront her murderer. Maybe it was that the first half really did have promise but then Sebold threw me into an unexpected (and unwelcome) supernatural spin. The worst thing was there was just no substance.
Then there's the "random" coincidences - Samuel and Lindsey pulling off the road in the rain, running to the abandoned shack then running all the way home only to ... find out at the conclusion that Ruth's dad owns the house. To me, this really shitty writing. What about Hal, what was the point of Hal's character? To be Grandma's gimp? I felt like there was no point to these side-line stories and cardboard cutout characters.
There wasn't even any meat behind the mother leaving and completely abandoning her family. I think if you're going to include something as dramatic as that in the novel perhaps touch on it a little more. We don't want to know she's working in a wine factory, we want to know what is going on in her head! Then she wanders back into the finale, has a cup of tea with another random character, her son runs past because he has new drumset ... loose, loose, loooooose writing.
I'm not a believer in heaven but am interested in other's perceptions of it. I found Sebold's ideas disappointing. School buildings? A few people dressed up as snowflakes at Christmas time? A very random connection with her Grandfather? To me, this novel could be a great sketched-out version - to be used for an actual story but as It was, it needed fleshing out, reworking and editing. Oh boy did it need editing.
Great idea. Poor execution. And maybe that's what everyone got so carried away with, the idea was grand - so grand that they were blinded by the weakness of the script. Further, we all like to comfort ourselves with the whole heaven theory, don't we? The fact that we mean so much to people that we'll continue having such a huge impact on them. That we get to watch them from above after we're dead (voyeuristic much?). That this isn't it. Our one shot at life.
All in all, if people love this book and it affects them, changes their life, their outlook, makes them feel warm and fuzzy, makes them tearful or full of rapture - that's a good thing. I'm just disappointed that such a top seller couldn't do that for me. (less)
I didn't connect with any of the characters, which sorely disappointed me considering I really adored Tartt's writing. Beautiful writing, fantastic st...moreI didn't connect with any of the characters, which sorely disappointed me considering I really adored Tartt's writing. Beautiful writing, fantastic storytelling. Reading this is like drinking scotch and smoking cigarettes, mysterious and dark, smoky. A luscious, yet strange story.(less)
Wah. Some of Winterson's works make me feel as if I completely missing out on something, like it's going straight over my head. Which is likely the ca...moreWah. Some of Winterson's works make me feel as if I completely missing out on something, like it's going straight over my head. Which is likely the case considering I am not the most intellectual of sorts but I don't like being reminded of this when trying to enjoy a novel. Further, with most books that are a little too 'smart' for me, I usually understand why. Either it's the content, or the heavy vocabulary or some such thing.
But Winterson ... sometimes I feel like I just don't get it. Rather like some people wouldn't understand some of my coded journal entries, like when I'm waffling about something that makes sense to me because it's in my head and I created it, but anyone else- good luck.
I liked parts of this book. I was disinterested in the majority of it. I couldn't have cared less if I hadn't picked it back up to finish it and only continued to the end out of duty. I was a little perplexed as to why this book seems to be so highly rated by others on goodreads.
It was worth it for the parts that I did like though. I enjoyed the play with time and gravity (and so on). The prose was true Winterson, deep and rich. The imagery was stunning and her ideas - completely fantastical. I was swept away by certain paragraphs, feeling as if I could almost smell and taste her descriptions.
I'd like to re-read it and try and get my head around the rest, but there's so many other books that I'd actually love to read. (less)