bup's Reviews > Big Stone Gap

Big Stone Gap by Adriana Trigiani
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Apr 16, 2008

did not like it
bookshelves: 2009, i-m-worse-than-you, novel
Read in October, 2009

I have a copy of this book I'd be willing to sell/swap, but it's covered with the dried flecks of my vomit.

Normally I just like or dislike a book, but this book actually made me angry. I wanted to like it - popular book set in small town Virginia - I like Virginia, I miss Virginia. I'd really love a good book set in Virginia. Someone let me know where I can find one.

Partial list of things I hate:

1) The voice seems fake. I know the author grew up in Big Stone Gap. I know people in Virginia are out to whatever location they're at. There's still something so fake and...fake...about the narrator's voice.

2) After I read a lot of it, I noticed that the quoted blurbs on the cover are from - Whoopi Goldberg. Fannie Flagg. Rosanne Cash. I respect Whoopi Goldberg, but if I ever get a book published, I hope to have something better to put on the cover than "Whoopi Goldberg liked it."

3) There's a reader's guide in the back. I hate those. And an interview of the author - by a character in the book! How clever smug!

5) A short passage from late in the book, as we travel Italy with the narrator: "The people here are so animated; they raise their voices to make a point, they use their bodies for emphasis; they are so full of life and comical! It is no surprise that the commedia dell'arte theatrical tradition started here in the fourteenth century." By the way, this book has nothing to do with commedia dell'arte. NOTHING.

6) The main character's behavior and motivations are beyond stupid. A guy sells his truck to buy plane tickets for relatives to visit her, and she doesn't know if he loves her. Also the man she thinks she loves is ostensibly not gay, but is gay, but even the author seems not to know it. Honey, whoever you based this character on in real life is gay, and that's OK, but you probably should know that. Writers are supposed to be perspicacious and all.

7) You know what never grows deep inside caves? ANYTHING (including moss).

8) It was a best seller, and led to a series, apparently. I think I'm going to vomit again.
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03/01/2016 marked as: read

Comments (showing 1-9 of 9) (9 new)

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message 1: by [deleted user] (new)

Um, wow.


KatieSuzanne #6 I thought the gay thing too, and I read the second book, and he comes out. Good for you, you called it.


Diane C. I totally agree, there's much suspension of disbelief. Didn't keep me from enjoying the hell out of this book anyway.


message 4: by Mia (new) - added it

Mia Lol! I've been trying to read this book for a while now. Your review let me off the hook!


Linda such a rant!


message 6: by Connie Wright (new)

Connie Wright I think you need to remember the time (1970's) and the mind frame of small town peoples. I have no doubt that all this is 100% factual. I once had a crush on a fellow worker who was gay and being in the late '60's never gave a thought he was. People in that era had very conservative, slightly biased views re one's actions.


Kathy I hadn't planned on reading any more of this series, but it's nice to know that I was right - Theodore is gay. I'm going to be generous and give it a 2 or 3 stars.


message 8: by TloHunter (new) - added it

TloHunter Hah! Your review made my morning. Hilarious, scathing & full of personality. I have ZERO desire to read this (vomit inducing) book...EVER. Thank you for sparing me from an experience that might very well have caused spontaneous brain combustion.


Laura Hahahaha the moss comment! I had the SAME thought!!!


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