Comments: 5
Ceridwen 8 years ago
The ending was preposterous. As you know, I hated this.

Someone did observe to me -- or maybe this was in the afterward -- that the idea for this book came from a dream Niffenegger had. That makes sense for the tone of most of it: kinda dreamy and twilighted, with this odd longing. The end was totally tacked on to give the narrative "meaning", and I don't think she thought the whole thing out. Or if she did, then she did not foreshadow that meaning properly, as I assume I'm supposed to take away that reading is a waste, and that you'll be punished for your nostalgia. I think sometimes we should be punished for our nostalgia -- people elide a lot of terrible shit from the past in order to remember it fondly -- but I do not see why the woman here should be. She remembered her reading life fondly; so? Altogether a massive disappointment.

And, actually, the children's book format bugged me, but I'm not sure I can articulate why. If you're going to write a graphic novel, then write a godamn graphic novel. It felt like maybe she was avoiding the comic book format because comics have cooties and no one who was a serious writer would write them, but I might just have rage spillover from the content.
Degrees of Affection 8 years ago
Yes, that's in the afterward. The whole dream was about the Library though, so I'm not sure about how that all worked out. Yeah, I felt like if this was all carefully planned, then it was pointed at readers and book lovers to say "quit being weird and stop messing up your life!" But that doesn't work with the rest of the story and all in all, one of the few books I wish I never read.

Yes, that aggravated me too. It could have been a decent short story and while the images of the books - I loved the one with the covers, most of which I recognized - were amazing, it just didn't really work. Yeah, I classified it as a graphic novel. That's really what it was. Maybe it was suppose to be a picture book for adults. They do have those...but it doesn't really feel like that.

I'm just glad I'm not alone. I really felt like maybe I was completely stupid and missed the point. It's like it was two different books.
Ceridwen 8 years ago
Oh, I'm sure it's classed as a graphic novel, and I don't really dispute that because that would be some serious quibbling. Really I'm probably annoyed because it looked so much like a kiddie book that my kiddie read it, and the content is not appropriate. There are some grown-up-ish books that look like children's books -- like the one on immigration by Shaun Tan -- that I love, but the content there is maybe just over a kid's head, not wholly inappropriate. This is probably an OH GOD THINK OF TEH CHILDREN argument though, and therefore kinda stupid, so I retract it. :)
Degrees of Affection 8 years ago
I disagree. There are some books that don't need to be read at certain ages and this would be one of them. It's not even just the subject matter but the way it's handled. I'm not saying no child should ever read it, but I am saying that the content is inappropriate for certain ages for most children and they and/or the parents should know and be prepared. I can't imagine dealing with your eight year old reading this and having to answer the questions it would bring up.

I do agree, this could be shelved wrong. I've seen what happens when good adult books are shelved with children's or teens and it's often not pretty. I can see some poor librarian making an honest mistake with this one.
Ceridwen 8 years ago
That's true. I hadn't thought about it as a shelving issue, which it certainly is.