Monday, May 23, 2011

Book #11 - The Crimson Petal and the White

Continuing with the catching up...

Book #11 was The Crimson Petal and the White by Michel Faber. Two things led me to this 900 page book. That's right. 900 PAGES. The first was a recommendation from a friend of Aaron's. The recommendation wasn't, "Hey, this book is awesome, you should read it." It was more like, "Hey, this book is ginormous and if you're looking for a challenge, you'll find it here." Well. Clearly I enjoy a good challenge, so I put it on my radar. Then a group I belong to on Goodreads (aptly called Reading the Chunksters) put it up for consideration. These two things combined seemed reason enough for

All I can say is thank goodness for Jury Duty. It would have taken me FOREVER to get through those 900 pages if I hadn't been granted almost two full days of nearly uninterrupted reading time. To be honest, I'm not sure it was really worth it. I thought after the hype (the rec's and then the reviews I read on Goodreads) that it would be a super intense and interesting book. It wasn't really. I don't really even remember THAT much about it. It started of super slow, pretty difficult to get into. When the story starts, it's not even following the book's main character. You have to get there, be introduced to each character. "Julie, this is Caroline. Caroline enjoys long walks through the gritty streets of London, searching for "johns"." Blech. The path to the main character (the heroine, I guess she could be called) is so rambling that when he finally gets there, it takes a while to be convinced that she's the one. Sugar is her name, prostituting and social climbing is her game. Honestly, she isn't a very likable heroine. She's rather whiny and really kind of ends up losing herself instead of finding herself. The most annoying thing about the book? It doesn't end. I mean, the book ends, but the story doesn't really end. Faber actually has the nerve to taunt the reader about it. "Hey, I know the story didn't really end, but too bad, that's how life is sometimes." Really? Even with that though, by that point I was just so glad to be finished, I barely cared.

And I'm realizing that my review is becoming nearly as long and tedious (yet somewhat lacking in real information) as the book, so I'm going to just quit while I'm ahead...

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Catching up...through Book #10...

Ok. So I know that I am behind in my blogging. Woefully behind. Unfortunately, the blog update police force (you know who you are) has also realized this and my plan of coasting along with the hopes of no one knowing has been thwarted. And so now it is time to catch up.

First I must be honest. I've shelved Mysteries of St. Louis. Not forever, mind you. The rules I set forth for myself clearly state that once I've started a book, I must finish it. I will. I just came to the realization that if I'm ever going to catch up to where I need to be as far as pace, I needed to move on. So it has been returned to the library for the time being. This change means I need to shuffle my numbers, which officially makes Book #8 Without Mercy, and Book #9 The Tower, The Zoo and The Tortoise, both of which I've already talked about.

Book #10 - The Uncoupling by Meg Wolitzer. This was a Goodreads "first-read" freebie book. Here's what I wrote about it on Goodreads:

"This was the second book that I "won" from a Goodreads giveaway. I have to say that I didn't really care for it. The plot line just seems so...simple. The story seems like perhaps it should be complicated, but it's not. I'm not sure if that's a result of the writing or simply the premise. The idea is that a new drama teacher comes to this school and decides to put on a play called Lysistrata, the plot of which involves the women of Greece to go on a sex strike and deny their lovers sex in order to stop war. Already you're thinking, hmm...right? A side effect is that supposedly anywhere the play is put on, the women of that town turn away from their lovers. A cold-winded spell blows over all of them. Riiight... It of course eventually resolves, but it takes sooo long to get there. I think my main issue with the whole thing is that this would have been better as a short story. The characters really aren't interesting enough to deserve a whole book. I finished it, but only because it was really easy to read and I got through it very quickly. It's left me feeling kind of eh, though."

Can you tell how much I didn't like it? Bleh. Furthermore, part of the schtick with the first-read thing is that you increase your chances of getting more free books if you review the ones you've already received. Well. I haven't won ANY since this review. Maybe they only like positive reviews?

"The worth of a book is to be measured by what you can carry away from it." ~James Bryce