This book is the perfect proof that I need a plot in a book after all.
It was a delight to read - for the first 200 pages. I loved the world and its qu...moreThis book is the perfect proof that I need a plot in a book after all.
It was a delight to read - for the first 200 pages. I loved the world and its quirks, I didn't quite understand the relationship between two main characters but believed it'll clear up in the end, and I was happily and eagerly anticipating the plot mentioned in the blurb. I reached half mark of the book and started to worry. And when I flipped to the last few pages, imagine how shocked and peeved I was to find that a good chunk of the tome was devoted to several short stories and an excerpt from another book. There was barely any time to introduce the main (?) point of the plot and to wrap it up... It all sizzled out together with my excitement. There's virtually nothing beyond the blurb. Still, I understand why it wasn't phrased differently - there is simply nothing else in this book that could be summarized and pitched. Nothing ever happens. Characters appear and disappear, nothing changes, main duo is as meh as ever (and I still don't understand why they even are together), it all reads like a slice of life without much meaning or purpose. It doesn't help that Kushner explains the evil political plot in three-page monologue by one of the characters, just as if she got bored and wanted to finish it quickly.
I loved the setting and the premise, but I can't help but feel that all of it was pretty pointless, no pun intended.(less)
A 30-year-old good-for-nothing musician finds his uncle's diary and gets sucked into fairytale world where all sorts of magical creatures are real and...moreA 30-year-old good-for-nothing musician finds his uncle's diary and gets sucked into fairytale world where all sorts of magical creatures are real and flower-named elves wage war with each other... err, something like that anyway. Doesn't sound good.
I actually don't remember why I bought this book. It doesn't sound like my type of thing. Someone must have recommended it; but then, I remember one of my friends saying that it took her a year to finish this book. Tad Williams is the only author whose book I couldn't read in one chunk, had to leave it for two months, but actually came back and finished it, so I took the risk with this one.
It starts fairly nice. Unfortunately, once the tension dropped, I found myself stuck around 50th page. I was slogging through diary-reading and later through lengthy descriptions of Faerie. There were occasional gems here and there (Williams writes nice horror snippets, I was amazed), but generally nothing significant happened in the first half of the book. The only thing that kept me reading was the humor. Main character has a surprisingly nice sense of humor and it was really enjoyable to follow his narrative. The climax is great though. I didn't expect something so... creepy? Williams is certainly amazing with words, I could imagine the scenes in perfect detail. The resolution is somewhat random, but not that jarring. I could do without the epilogue though.
All in all, the world and its fairytale-ish qualities is well-drawn and pleasant to experience. I didn't mind its similarities to our world. There were some interesting (and dark) twists, mainly regarding characters' personalities. The main plot line is rather simple though, and many threads were gravely underdeveloped. Many things get referenced only to stay as mere references, which is rather annoying in a novel that long. This book is simply too wordy while not much happens.
I've seen some people complain about swearing in this book. I haven't noticed anything like that - quite the contrary, there are traces of serious censoring in Polish translation, which is awful by the way. And sprinkled with tons and tons of typos. Polish readers - do yourselves a favor and get the original. Polish version is horrible.(less)