**spoiler alert** I was really disappointed with this book. The first half was easy enough to read and then unfortunately I started getting bored part**spoiler alert** I was really disappointed with this book. The first half was easy enough to read and then unfortunately I started getting bored particularly when Sebold started rehashing the same old lines which was just frustrating after a while. However, if that was the only problem I had I wouldn't be complaining.
There were a bunch of unfeasible "random" coincidences such as 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. What about Hal, what was the point of Hal's character? To be Grandma's sidekick? I felt like there was no point to these side-line stories and superfluous characters.
I also would've liked to have seen some insight into the mother leaving and completely abandoning her family. So okay, I'm not the author and the author chose to not take that route but I think if you're going to include something as dramatic as that in the novel perhaps touch on it a little more. For me, it would've made it a juicier read. I didn't want know that she was working in a wine factory, I wanted to know what was going on in her head! I mean, she wandered back into the final pages, had a cup of tea with another random character, her son runs past because he has new drumset ... yikes.
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 felt like a good first draft and just really felt like it needed a good edit, or a heavy rewrite.
The ending was particularly irritating; falling to earth into a body to have sex with some guy who we didn't really care about ... for no reason? I was pretty 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, which is something I, and I presume many people, would've done. But okay, let's just accept that she's not that kind of person, the ending bothered me because the first half really did have promise but then Sebold threw me into an unexpected (and unwelcome) supernatural spin.
Great idea. Poor execution. 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 actual plot. Further, I guess people find comfort in the idea of heaven. The fact that we mean so much to people that we'll continue having such a huge impact on them once we're gone, that we get to watch them from above after we're dead (voyeuristic much?).
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. ...more
I didn't connect with any of the characters, which sorely disappointed me considering I really adored Tartt's writing. Beautiful writing, fantastic stI 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....more
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 caWah. 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. ...more
I'm still not sure whether I like Murakami's writing or not. It's just so out-there that it really throws me, but at the same time, it's nice to readI'm still not sure whether I like Murakami's writing or not. It's just so out-there that it really throws me, but at the same time, it's nice to read something so completely different (and crazy!) I get all his protagonist's mixed up, they blend into each other particularly if you sit down and read a chunk of the book in one sitting. Unless I'm missing the point there isn't much deep meaning in there, but it's fun, magical.
I've got several more of his books to read, so I'm sure I'll make up my mind on Murakami after I've finished them. As for this one - 'The Elephant Vanishes' - try it, I'm glad I did....more
I've had this book on my shelf for ages and have been holding off reading it because I didn't want to read it and it be over. You know how it goes? SoI've had this book on my shelf for ages and have been holding off reading it because I didn't want to read it and it be over. You know how it goes? So I kept saving it. My partner pointed it out to me the other day (I keep it on my bedside table), and said, "uh-oh, she's drawn all over the cover." - referring to my 1.5 year old daughter. Seeing my crestfallen face he asked what book it was and I said, "Oh, just only my favourite." Even though I hadn't yet read it. I had breathed in snatches of it on the sly, a sentence here and there and it seemed like it was going to be devastatingly good.
I like the way Siken lays his words out on the page and I love the words themselves. There's sadness, self-pity and a tremor of anxiety. Love and obsession and confusion. But sometimes I felt like I didn't understand what he was writing so beautifully about, as though it was a letter to someone in the know and I was reading with prying eyes.I'd love to understand more fully what some of it means, poetry like this tends to go right over my head. When I first started reading Anne Sexton's work, I felt the same way - but upon reading several biographies I started to understand her and her writing. I'd love to go over this book with a Smart Poetry Person and a fine tooth comb, or climb inside Siken's head and see the workings of his mind. So me being a poetry simpleton is no fault of Siken's, but I can't give this a five star if I don't fully comprehend the content. Still beautiful, and I'm sure I'm going to read it over and over and over. ...more