Monday, January 11, 2010
Books Gone Bad
You know when you start a book and it's terrific and you're so excited because it's long and you think you're in good hands and you just keep reading and reading but then something terrible happens in the middle? Something like an experienced author must have resisted any and all attempts at editing and decided instead and three home produced plays are of course reasonable to describe and it's fine to go on and on about god knows what for who knows how long and throw in a million characters. So what that the reader doesn't really know enough about any of them (well, one of them who is the saddest of all) but that's OK since they mostly turn out to be placeholders anyway. In other words, you're reading along and all of the sudden, four hundred pages in you realize you just don't care about any of it and you're so mad all the time but you're two thirds of the way through so you finish the damn book anyway when, really, you shouldn't have. This is what happened to me with The Children's Book by A.S. Byatt. I started it and it was like I had a mad crush on it and then, all of the sudden, it was just all wrong and I kept reading anyway and fuming about how upset I was about reading it. Bad idea. So it goes.