Margaret's Reviews > Leonard and Hungry Paul

Leonard and Hungry Paul by Ronan Hession
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it was ok

Oh God, I'm the only person on the entire planet who didn't enjoy this book. I didn't believe in Leonard, I didn't believe in Hungry Paul or his smug family. I didn't believe in the competition that Hungry Paul enters, or the way the worthy hospital visits pan out. I didn't believe in those long articulate monologues delivered by Hungry Paul, then Leonard. I didn't believe in a single stilted conversation between any of the book's protagonists. My first instinct was to junk it after the first fifty pages. But I persisted, and finally I did warm - a little bit - to this gentle pair of friends, satisfied with so little. But really .... I could take it or leave it. My loss, obviouly, as so many people seem to have loved this book. Just - not me.
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Reading Progress

July 5, 2019 – Started Reading
July 5, 2019 – Shelved
July 5, 2019 – Finished Reading

Comments Showing 1-13 of 13 (13 new)

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message 1: by Iulia (new) - added it

Iulia I couldn't agree more. I thoroughly hated the book (for pretty much the same reasons you point out) and couldn't even finish it. I can't for the life of me understand all the hype, for a long time I thought it must have been me, I didn't get it or something. Oh well...

Margaret Iulia - thank you! We are due to dicuss this book at our bookgroup tomorrow. I'll report back ....

Margaret Well. That put me in my place. My book group loved all this book . While a few agreed with some of my more negative comments about style and so forth, everyone really appreciated its gentle celebration of two ordinary lives. It scored a massive 8 out of 10. Only my score of 2 brought its average down......

message 4: by Iulia (new) - added it

Iulia Oh no Margaret! I think people might be so hungry for gentleness - given the crazy world we live in maybe - that they are willing to believe in all sorts of stuff, like a boring, cheesy book. I love books about ordinary people and that’s how I know there are other authors who did this much more successfully than Hession. But yes, the positive regard for this book escapes me and will continue to do so...

Margaret Oh well. They probably think we are the losers. I can live with that.

All My Friends  Are Fictional Just read it and hated it, we're discussing it in my bookclub next month and I already dread telling people I'm not a fan.

Margaret Good luck! Nobody agreed with me and thought me a curmudgeonly type. This is a group that normally has healthy discussions with a wide range of opinions. I was on my own....

Bart What Margaret said plus:
-the long sequences of describing what actions everyone is performing. Yuck!
- the author has the voice of an american teenager
- the whole novel is a downhill ride, every possible interesting conflict is avoided (sharing time with Shelley/Paul, confronting grace with superhero behavior, job interviews, contests)

But the thing that ruined it for me most is the alien dialogue and the unconvincing characters: Two geeks who are supposed to be social mishaps, but happen to happen to know what qualities make a restaurant interesting and what suits to wear not to wear, while at the same time “forgetting” something elementary as Yahtzee rules. Another example is: the factual encyclopedia geek, is deviating from this style of book by fleshing out a fictional character with thoughts and feelings, why?

Margaret It's good there are a few of us to stick together on this!

message 10: by L (new) - rated it 2 stars

L You are not alone. In fact, although it didn't occur to me when I wrote my own review, yours reminded me that most of the book was not credible. My main problem with it, however, is that it lacks a plot.

Margaret I can cope with lack of plot if there are other redeeming features - lyrical or lively description for instance. But there aren't.

message 12: by Jo (new) - rated it 2 stars

Jo I agree with you Margaret - you’re not on your own. Couldn’t see the appeal at all unfortunately!

Margaret And yet my book group is still occasionally giving me a hard time about my negativite feelings.

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