kingshearte's Reviews > Lazy Bird

Lazy Bird by Andrée A. Michaud
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Dec 29, 09

bookshelves: 2009, french-books, fiction
Read in December, 2009

** spoiler alert ** OK, for starters, it's never a good sign when I take a break from reading one book to read another, which I did this weekend. I read a lovely little piece of brain fluff called For Better, For Worse. The break was only a day long, but still. Not a good sign.

Anyway, once again, I must take issue with the blurb writer. The way it's written makes it sound like Lazy Bird has something to do with the mystery caller, and in fact, I was getting quite confused for a while, because I thought Lazy Bird would end up being the name given to the mystery caller, but it wasn't. She was just called Misty, which is fine, except that, to me, at least, the blurb makes it sound like there will be some connection at least between Lazy Bird and the caller, and there isn't. They're pretty much entirely separate storylines, in fact, until they come together in an unfortunate sort of way at the end.

But that's only a small part of my issue with this book. My main issue was that it was boring. For one thing, a book that is supposed to be about murder should have at least one body piled up long before the halfway mark. This one only got its first at around that point. Things started to get somewhat more interesting at that point, but only somewhat. This book was just so full of tangential observations that the pacing was deadly, if you'll pardon the expression. As an example, in a place where in a well-written book, a character might go into the local diner and have a plot-advancing conversation with his friend, in this book, the character would walk into the diner, catch sight of, oh I don't know, a pack of matches, and spend a few paragraphs musing about the ephemeral nature of childhood, and then go sit down and have that plot-advancing conversation. What does childhood have to do with matches? I don't know. And even more to the point, what does it have to do with the story at hand? Definitely couldn't tell you that. So that made the whole thing excruciatingly tedious, especially for the first half, when nothing was really even happening, plot-wise. At least by the second half, there was occasionally something to hold my interest. But seriously, if this hadn't been a French book that I'm reading for practice, I'd have dropped it ages ago. Too boring.

It was further harmed in my opinion by the fact that the whole Lazy Bird storyline was uninteresting to me simply because Lazy Bird herself is so intolerable. You can tell by the way it's written that you're supposed to find her endearing in spite of and/or because of her faults, but, like with Peter Pan, the charm just did not come through in the writing. True, she's fourteen, and thus can be forgiven a certain amount of brattiness, but there has to be something worthwhile there too. All I saw was a complete brat with no respect or regard for anyone but herself. And ungrateful, too. At point she demands (and I really don't mean "politely requests") that Bob bring her back a cherry milkshake when he comes home. Not being able to acquire a cherry one, he brings home a blueberry one. Now, I get that sometimes you're really in the mood for a particular flavour, or maybe you simply don't care for the flavour you got, but then the appropriate response is to say thank you anyway. Not to yell at the poor guy that if they don't have what you bloody well asked for, then don't fucking bother. You're lucky he saw fit to get you one at all, wench. Anyway, so things like that just made her so intolerable for me that I didn't even really care when she turned up dead.

And then there's Misty, the murderer. For starters, I pegged one of the involved parties at page 134, from one sentence she uttered (possibly her first of the book). Turns out she wasn't really the culprit, but she would have been a better one than the real one. Frankly, I thought there were too many clues pointing toward the real murderer, so he (yes, he) must be a red herring. Nope. Furthermore, I feel that in a mystery kind of story, by the end of the book, I should be able to understand both how the murders were committed, and why they were committed. The how in this instance is not really an issue. That was all fairly straightforward. The why, on the other hand, is not clear. I get why he killed his mother, but I don't get why he killed his (ex?) girlfriend. Then there were the others. According to him, in the little epilogue, there had to be more murders after he disappeared, to make sure suspicion stayed off him, and I kind of get that, but mostly not. If someone had a problem with him, they might very well stop killing after they'd killed two women he was close with and then him. Considering how long it took for anyone to become remotely suspicious about any of those three disappearances, he could have been long gone before anyone got wise, and they'd probably have assumed that his body was simply better hidden than the others. So the further harassment of Bob and killing various other people and animals just didn't really jive, and made the whole thing not really hang together properly. Because that's another thing that a mystery should do: it should tie itself up into a neat little package when it's done, with everything neatly slotted into the proper cubby holes, and it should all make sense. I realize that real life doesn't work that way, and some people are just plain crazy, and kill all sorts of people for no good reason, but this isn't real life. I think half the reason one reads books like this is because real life doesn't work that way, and sometimes it's nice to pretend that all murders can be solved fairly quickly and satisfactorily. This didn't do it for me.
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Reading Progress

12/21/2009 page 189
45.22% "So far, in a book that is supposed to involve murders, there are no dead bodies. And it's boring."
12/22/2009 page 242
57.89% "Ladies and gentlemen, we have a body. My first guess as to the murderer is Polly (which I guessed on pg. 134). Guess #2 is June's mom."
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