Sometimes I read books and I don't like them, but I don't think that's reflected very well in the blog. I guess I don't think it's fair to review a book I didn't finish, and why would I finish something I don't love? I mean, life is short or something else equally cliche. Anyway, just in time for X-mas, here are some books that disappointed me this year:
–The Life and Opinions of Tristam Shandy, Gentleman. I want to love this book; so many people love this book! But no. I'll try again next year.
–Lord Jim. Again, I am disappointed mainly in myself. I guess coming of age in the era of Everyone With Money or Power is an Ammoral Sack of Flesh (and we all know about it thanks to the internet), I have a hard time really grasping the concept of dishonor. I mean, just donate some money to charity and issue a public apology, gaaaawd.
-I didn't love Because They Wanted To. Everyone loves Mary Gaitskill! Objectively, she's phenomenal, but to me personally something about her writing is just very… it's as if her characters are being dissected under a harsh lab light. On the one hand, she sees them (and we see them) so clearly…on the other hand, there's something about it that's a little bit like a violation. I mean, she's amazing. I just prefer, I guess, a softer gaze; incisiveness that does not take so much pleasure in the ability to expose.
–Memoirs of Hadrian by Marguerite Yourcenar. My dad loves this book. For me this is another try again next year book. I guess I was expecting something more like I, Claudius, or Gore Vidal's Julian (so much drama!). This was a little bit drier (at least, the part that I read).
–The Hunger Games. I don't think this actually really belongs here, because I thought it was really good. But, at the same time, it's not essential for me. I don't know that I'm going to read the next two in the series. If I had to pick only one coming-of-age in dystopia book for you to read, it would still be The Golden Compass or The Giver. Maybe this would be totally different if I had read this as a teenager, but I didn't think it had anything all that interesting to say. Reality tv sucks, you know, and we're all exploitative jerks, etc. I feel like I've heard it/seen it before. If you really want to make that point, you make Man Bites Dog, which still holds the crown as the most traumatizing movie I have ever seen (that is not specifically a horror movie).
I wish I had read something I really hated so I could tell you about it. I would write something so nasty! But, if you'll allow me to humblebrag for a second, I am basically so good at screening books these days that I rarely get something that is a real dud. It's terrible!