March 15, 2010

Book review

I mentioned in a previous blog that I had almost overwhelmed myself with books. It turns out that I needn't be so concerned.

'The Children's Book' by A.S. Byatt...I am 46 pages in and have given up. I can see a story in there somewhere, but it is lost amongst a whole lot of seemingly pointless flashbacks. I chose it because it was mentioned somewhere (forgive me for forgetting where) as a great fantasy novel. So far all I see is political nonsense from the 1800s...and a candlestick.

I have tried to keep reading, but if books don't grab me within a chapter or two, I find it very hard to keep reading. I was especially thrown - remember, I have read 46 pages - to find with no apparent reason, no lead up or suggestions, that the 15 year old character decides to masturbate in a strangers house into the hankey he was given.
I'll accept that it is the practice of 15 year old boys, sure, but completely out of place unless I missed something.

Disappointing really. The first thing to throw me off though was the mere size of the book. It is rather thick, 615 pages, and the type is SO SMALL!

I've got an awful feeling it is the junior fiction section too but I doubt there are many young readers who would get any further than I did unless they were looking for more *giggle* sex scenes.

So I picked up another of the books I had chosen. 'Blaze of Glory' by Michael Pryor. I've read 8 pages of this one and it too has me raising my eyebrows in disbelief.
I remember for my practice HSC English exam writing a story about a girl who had fears of crossing the road because she had been hit by a car earlier in her life. The story focused on her current situation, and her memories of the event. She only alluded to the cause of her fear. Of course, it was all clear in my head because the story was mine...indeed, the experience was mine also. But the reader/marker had no idea of what I was thinking when I wrote it so missed what I was trying to convey.
This is how I feel about Pryor's story. He's opened with the current experiences of his character who alludes to his past which is confusing for me as the reader. Perhaps as I read further it will be explained, but unfortunately I don't foresee me gaining enjoyment from the story. What I have deduced so far sounds silly because of the way it is presented.

Actually, it reminds me of the Septimus Heap saga. I am currently listening to 'Queste' which is book 4 I think...It is one of the dumbest (for want of a better word) series I have ever 'read'. The stories are a mess, the characters all over the place and underdeveloped and the whole lot of them seem so blase about the events occurring around them. Two children disappear into the past and only the siblings of one of them care to try and rescue them. The adults - who have the power - completely ignore the fact that the two have mysteriously disappeared.
The Princess in the story is overlooked as being in a position of power despite being the only living royal so it seems that no one is actually ruling their land - which in turn seems only to consist of the castle, the wizards tower and the slum-like building arrangements that surround the castle. Oh yes, and Aunt Zelda's place which can be reached by sailing down the river for a while and through some marshland. Or by going through the magic cupboard in the Queen's room. Who is dead. So it belongs to the princess. Who didn't know it was there. Until she found it.

It seems that I am just searching for SOMETHING fantasy to sink my teeth into and will try anything. Next it is The Eye of the World by Robert Jordan.

By the way...Septimus Heap is SO bad, I can't stop listening to it because I want to know how it all ends.

I make a terrible critic. The best example I have of how terrible I am...I see anything Twilight and want to burn it. I say this because if anyone thought of recommending Twilight, it's best you know how I feel first.

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