After being laid out on the couch as sick as a dog for nearly week, I've lifted my head above the fog with that strange notion of time set askew. It feels as if I've missed more than a week of reality, and I figured that the best tonic would be to come clean on some perfectly good books that left me cold. Once I get this out of my system I move onto gushing about other perfectly wonderful books and all will be well.
This book was hugely popular a while back. Oprah selected it. I read enough unenthusiastic reviews to convince me not to read it, but then it was selected for my book club so I had to. I got through it mostly on audio, and if I said that I cared about any of the characters, I'd be exaggerating.
However. If you are a dog lover, a lover of the Shakespearean tragedy, if you are a Wisconsin lover or a lover of the long-winded epic, then this may be a match made in heaven.
The problem is the nagging feeling that has followed this story for me: that those people weren't done justice in this book. I had a hard time drumming up a connection to any of the characters...what should have been a celebration of survival and spirit, instead felt rather lifeless and mechanical, and I thought it was a pity. Obviously my opinion is not universal, and I still think it's a story worth telling, even if the telling wasn't spectacular.
Actually, I may have liked it more if I had read it instead of listening to it. Perhaps it was the narrator's intonations that brought attention to the scads of metaphors saturating the prose. It sounded as if it were written by someone who enjoyed sunsets and long walks on the beach and could rather do without having to actually read anything. I'm sorry, but there it is.
Still, I love the era. The title is great. The premise has promise. Sigh.
Okay, but seriously. If you are in the mood for a quickly moving, easy to read, page turning experience, then pick it up. Do it. It's what you want. Just don't try to figure out why the Irish girl is named Lavinia, or what is benefited by the narrator switch, or if it is likely that all of these things would have happened to one person, or which issue you should care about the most...because you might get distracted and stop turning pages so quickly. And that was the point, wasn't it? Oh, and don't forget to meet up with a group of girls and drink a glass of wine afterwards. You've earned it.
Ahhh. I feel so much better now. I think that was just what the doctor ordered. :)