You know, I’m always disheartened when picking up a book to find a sticker staring back at me declaring that it’s been “Shortlisted by Richard & Judy’s book club.” What is that supposed to mean? That it didn’t even make the final? It did however live up to my expectations. Bland, unoriginal and desperate to please.
There was a story here but boy she didn’t half labour to get it out. And was it worth it? Not really. I did collect a few quotes here and there, but you can join the dots in your own mind way before the writing does it for you. The characters are okay. Well, no. Wait a minute. The main character is okay. He’s a kind of sane version of Ignatius J. Reilly I suppose – which of course takes all the fun out of him. But the young girl, was absolutely two dimensional and the parts that were written from her point of view were the worst in my opinion. She just seemed like a last minute plot invention to solve the problem of a vehicle to convey how the threads of the needlessly fragmented storyline came together.
For some reason I kept thinking of The Book Thief as I read this. I think it was the fact that both dealt with Jewish culture as well as suffering from writers trying too hard. As with Thief, this was a novel trying to impress you with ‘clever’ little literary devices which I suspect may mask the ability to actually write. Take for example, the opening line below. Are we supposed to be intrigued by the use of a dependent clause bereft of its main clause mother? And towards the end, we had whole pages with just a few lines on them. Why? Okay. Why not? You’re right. It certainly helps me get to the end quicker as my progress graph below from Goodreads shows.
No idea whatsoever what this is doing on the 1001 books list. No idea at all.
|99TH PAGE QUOTE||
Key: Legacy | Plot / toPic | Characterisation / faCts | Readability | Achievement | Style
Read more about how I come up with my ratings