Sue Smith's Reviews > Blackout

Blackout by Connie Willis
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Feb 13, 11

bookshelves: abandoned

Well I got to page 152 and just had to shut this book down. It was pissing me off sooo bad!! If I can do one other person a favor by catching them in the nick of time before they pick this drivel up and waste priceless time and energy reading it, when they could be doing other productive things - like washing out the toilets - then I will feel satisfied!!

Why - do you ask - was I so pissed off? Well pull up a seat and let me tell you!

Firstly, let me clarify that I was quite pumped to read this book - it had quite a few favorable reviews and the premise of the book is awesome. Of course, it also had afew that panned it but I felt that I should read it and decide for myself as there are others who just don't enjoy that particular genre or writer or whatever. This book had potential, so I wanted to go ahead and read it.

And that, my friends, is what pissed me off the most. It had such potential to be an awesome book . The concept of time travel is just cool! In this case, going back to the past to be in the middle of a huge global crisis - the idea has limitless possibilities!! But this particular version of it just fell flat on its face.

First off, it's unbelieveably confusing. The author keeps introducing new characters - one every chapter for the first God knows how many chapters, but without keeping you engaged enough with them or what they're doing to remember them when that particular storyline comes back. It felt like watching a litter of puppies squirming one over the other only giving you a quick idea as to which one was male and which female. (And in the story they were all whining and crying too!). It's hard to care. Top that off with the fact that these people change their names when they travel to the past, so now you have to remember the alias with the person's real identity. I didn't get why they had to change their names - it's not like anyone in the past was going to know them. (Perhaps that mystery is explained farther into the book and I just didn't get that far. Nor did I care to.)

Secondly, the time travel thing was just not convincing. It was made to sound like a completely unreliable process - lots of variances in the time warp thing so they never knew when they were exactly going to arrive. Yet, mysteriously, they could always be 'dropped' into a completely private spot so no one would see them arrive. It's ridiculous and it completely makes you angry that you're supposed to just go along with it. Pullleeze. After a while I was just snorting everytime something came up.

The story just didn't engage me. Too many characters, too wishy-washy circumstances and I just didn't care enough to want to know. When you find yourself continually leafing forward hoping that it has to get better (even though you've been telling yourself that for the last 100 pages) and still feeling totally disenchanted about the book, it's just time to put it down and put it on the abandoned book shelf and write a review hoping to catch other unsuspecting readers before they fall into the trap!
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Reading Progress

02/11/2011 page 114
23.0% "You know, I hate it when I'm a quarter into the story and I still don't care...."

Comments (showing 1-6 of 6) (6 new)

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Linette hmmm...maybe I need to rethink having this on my tbr list. :(


message 2: by Sue (new) - rated it 1 star

Sue Smith Linette wrote: "hmmm...maybe I need to rethink having this on my tbr list. :("

Do yourself a favor and don't bother with it. I had a rather lovely critique on it but it was unfortunately deleted by Goodreads (site went down when I finished it and couldn't save it). I'll be rewriting it mind you! Stay tuned!! Hhahahha!!


Violet I understand you're opinion. I can totally see why you think that about this book. It is frustrating that there isn't much explanation about the time travel (there really isn't much descriptions at all), and it does get to the the point that you have to look back and remember what they were talking about a few chapters back.

But, as I'm sure that you can tell from my own review of this book, I disagree with you. I just want to state for a fact, that yes, it totally could've been A LOT better, but its written in a certain type of style that some don't really fancy. It was hard for me to get to like it too, but I'm afraid to tell you that if you stuck with the book (like me), the plot line would've gotten better and clearer.

Looking back, I felt the same way at that point in the book that you dropped it. I was very frustrated and bored. I also felt the same way about the new characters, but if you keep reading and keep it all straight it turns out to be a very captivating book.

Since I'm reading the second book, I can tell you that everything is eventually explained (I think the author just wanted to keep the readers guessing).

It is a good concept and book. If you give it a second chance rather than dropping it before everything is completely set up, then you will see that it can be a wonderfully interesting story.

But if you aren't willing to read half the book before it becomes interesting, and you don't really like the writing style, I wouldn't blame you for not giving the book a second chance. Everybody a right for their own opinion. I just wanted to present you with my own opinions in hopes that will bring to light another side that you might've never thought of.


message 4: by Sue (new) - rated it 1 star

Sue Smith Violet wrote: "I understand you're opinion. I can totally see why you think that about this book. It is frustrating that there isn't much explanation about the time travel (there really isn't much descriptions at..."

Thanks for that Violet! I'll reconsider picking it up as I do understand that not all books start rolling right at the get go (Ayn Rand's Atlas Shrugged comes to mind - it got going after the first 100 pages were underway and it was an awesome book). I just felt that being well over a third into the book SOMETHING should have gotten underway and it just irritated me to no end!


Violet Trust me, I can totally relate. Felt the exact same way.

Thanks for giving this book a second chance. I always hate when people don't give a book the chance it deserves.

Just another little tip before you try to read the book again, if you end up liking it (you might not, who knows) and want to read the second book, I'd advice you to read it straight away. The second book doesn't pause to go one with the story line at all, nor does it recap. If you wait awhile between the two books its safe to say that you might get a bit lost.

Anyway, I hope that the book treats yah right. Don't feel obligated to like it because of me. If you don't end up liking it, and I'm cool with that.


message 6: by Sue (new) - rated it 1 star

Sue Smith Violet wrote: "Trust me, I can totally relate. Felt the exact same way.

Thanks for giving this book a second chance. I always hate when people don't give a book the chance it deserves.

Just another little t..."


Thanks Violet! I'll give it another go. The saving grace for me will be that I can pick it up at the 152nd page!! Sometimes I think the editors are to blame for letting the authors do stupid things. Her idea may have had merit but I don't think it was handled properly to get readers engaged so that they will put up with the jumpiness. Good advice on the second book and I'll bear it in mind.


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