Elizabeth's Reviews > The Poisonwood Bible

The Poisonwood Bible by Barbara Kingsolver
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Jan 09, 2008

did not like it
Recommended to Elizabeth by: i got it as a hand-me-down
Recommended for: please don't read it, i only am b/c i'm kind of masochistic
Read in January, 2008

this book is terrible. and yet i continue to plow through, i'm not sure why other than an exercise in small and constant sacrifices, like some kind of immolation i subject myself to, trial by fire. actually it's more like water torture, these small meaningless drips that could drive you mad. the writing is really plodding and unnatural and forced. for instance the voices of 5-year-olds written with the obvious tones of a middle-aged florid ego-driven agenda. one of the things i hate most in writing is when you can feel the author thinking about the story and how it might sound good to tell it, and what might make her sound poetic and wise, and how it might make her look to people. you can hear her imagining how people (the reader) might see her, with every word she writes. lots of affectations, i'm saying.
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Reading Progress

07/24/2016 marked as: read

Comments (showing 1-11 of 11) (11 new)

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Shawn Ok. Thank you. I've started this book several times and just can't get into it. Your review tells me I should just let it go. =)


Catherine I hated it too. I tried and tried to read it, because Prodigal Summer by B.K. is one of my favorite books; so is Animal Dreams by her. But ugh!! Couldn't even plow through this one for the life of me. I'm so vindicated to hear my friends don't like it either! But try Prodigal Summer. It's really incredible, I think. And Animal Dreams is just like a really good, solid romance novel.


message 3: by Liz (new) - rated it 1 star

Liz Thank god there are other people who hated this, too. I was beginning to think I was insane.


Ruthela You're all a bit potty! This is a mind-blowingly brilliant novel! What have I missed?


message 5: by Dyan (new)

Dyan Lee I could not agree more with your review . One of the worst books I think I have ever read, and the writer is full of herself.


message 6: by Lisa (new) - added it

Lisa Cotton I feel better knowing that I am not alone. My book club meets next week to discuss and I'm not going to feel bad about what I have to say.


Sara One of the things I hate most in writing is when people don't use capital letters.


message 8: by Gabriel (new)

Gabriel "...when you can feel the author thinking about the story and how it might sound good to tell it, and what might make her sound poetic and wise...",

This is completely off the topic of this book. You have just put into words something which has been seriously bothering me about some authors' writing style which I simply have not been able to articulate. That sort of overly-embroidered prose, where the slightest thing being written about is made to sound Oh So Meaningful because it's Symbolic of the Deeper Blah Blah of the Character. Thanks for giving me the words for this!!


message 9: by Stefi (new) - added it

Stefi Nilou I'm on page 80. And it's a struggle. I have left too many books unfinished and almost promised myself not to do it again, especially when a book got awards and it's one of the 1001 books blah, blah, but this is terrible.

I always try to give books the benefit of the doubt, but reading reviews on this one, stating that 'the first part is the best part' (so, it gets worse? Really?!) isn't that encouraging.

And because I know that so many people love it, I even tried imagining that it was written by one of my favorite authors. That didn't work either.

But what really annoyed me about it, is that is copying 'The God of Small Things', which is in my top-3 list. I think I've had enough.


message 10: by Chris (new)

Chris Haas Your comments reveal much more about you than the book. You can disagree with the spoon-fed and more latent messages; and the alternating narratives may not have worked for you; but it cannot objectively be denied that the writing is excellent. So, "terrible" doesn't belong in anyone's review.


Neville Tirimba Ogoti That book, like many in this day and age, is wildly overrated. Stylistically it's a failure. Should we keep quiet as the Emperor shows off his new clothes?


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