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text 2018-11-10 19:39
I've given up!
Milkman - Anna Burns

I should know by now that a book that wins the Man Booker prize is going to do nothing for me. With the exception of White Tiger, I have never enjoyed a Man Booker prize winner and Milkman was no exception. I was listening to an excellent reading by Bríd Brennan, complete with genuine Irish accent, but even this could not make up for the unnecessary verbosity of this book. Huge credit to the narrator for making it to the end, I abandoned ship at 23%.

 

Just as an example, here is a typical paragraph:

"Considering alone his avowals of devotion towards women, his mission of idolatry, his supreme glorification and deification and view that on earth in women was the life of things, the breadth of things, the cyclicality, essential nature, higher aspect, the best, most archetypal and utmost mystery of everything." 

 

And this was then followed by an endless discourse about whether or not the sky was actually blue?

 

There was much scope to provide an understanding of life as a young girl during the time of the 'Troubles' in Northern Ireland. The way women were treated, the boys' names that were or weren't acceptable, who was 'in' and who was 'beyond the pail', This book kind of suffuses this into the reader by osmosis, but by the same token, it was becoming more and more irritating and I do my reading for enjoyment; I was not enjoying the style of this book at all.

 

My first abandoned book this year :(

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review 2018-11-07 02:40
Hocus Pocus ★☆☆☆☆ (DNF)
Hocus Pocus - Kurt Vonnegut

I gave it my best for 40 pages, but finally just saw no reason to continue. This book does have a perverse sort of humor and is funny in places, but it was also off-puttingly angry. The conceit of this book is that it is the disjointed scribblings of a (possibly mad) man who is imprisoned in a library, and he decides to write his life story on random little scraps of paper he found laying about. So even as I recognize that the story's rambly structure and style is meant to illustrate the set up, I still found myself utterly unable to summon the will to keep reading. YMMV

 

DNF at 40/325 pages. Paperback, picked up from... somewhere, and had been sitting on my shelf for 3 years. Fly free now, little book, and I hope you end up with someone who wants to read this kind of drivel. 

 

I was attempting to read this for The 24 Tasks of the Festive Season game, for door 19 Festivus (Dec. 23) book task: Read any comedy, parody, or satire. Instead, I'm going to listen to the audio of Carol Burnett's In Such Good Company

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review 2018-10-17 21:30
Kill Creek - Scott Thomas,Bernard
Kill Creek - Scott Thomas,Bernard Setaro Clark

Sometimes an author creates awful characters and clearly relishes that. Highsmith did that. Most crime novelists do I suppose, either as victim or criminal. Harris' Hannibal Lector is another. What's noir but sexy awful people doing one another in?

 

These main characters are not awful But it feels as if Thomas is filled with contempt for them. There's fat shaming and slut shaming and flyover shaming: what possible horrors can the house hold compared to these?

 

Library copy

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review 2018-10-16 04:18
Truly Devious for Baker Street Irregulars
Truly Devious - Maureen Johnson

This is weird and why I consider my own ratings to be bunk: In June I picked this up read the first chapter and abandoned it. Just wasn't what I felt like reading. But it was on the list for Baker Street Irregulars, and I usually like Johnson, so...and I made it to the second chapter and then I was reluctant to put it down. Loved it. So Gothic romance and Nancy Drew and Sherlock and a boarding school too. Nom nom nom. I liked Stevie even as she exasperated me.

 

 By this time seems like I should be better at telling the difference between Not for Me and Not for Now, but no. Midnight in the Garden was probably the first book I picked for this Bingo, and I gave up entirely. Twenty five or so years ago I loved it. Go figure. 

 

Library copy 

 

 

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review 2018-10-09 02:04
Furies of Calderon (Codex Alera #1) (Audiobook)
Furies of Calderon - Jim Butcher

DNF @ 20%

 

Bored now.

 

This reads more like Brandon Sanderson and Michael Sullivan teamed up to write the most basic, convoluted "epic" fantasy of all time rather - and failing - than anything Jim Butcher would write. I love the Dresden Files, but this was boring. The characters are boring - they're either super good or super evil. The twists are boring - a big one is revealed in the third chapter, only a couple of scenes after so-and-so was killed. We jump around from one POV character to another, get to see a scene they're in and move on to another. Nothing's really explained, especially all this fury nonsense (aka Pokemon) which is the crux of the magical whatits in this world. There's no reason to care about these characters or what is happening to them or what's going on in this world.

 

Kate Reading is a decent narrator but she reads slow. Speeding this up to 1.20x helped, but not enough to make up for the lack of world-building and character development.

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