Wednesday, February 11, 2009
The Yawn Factor
Isn't it awkward when the friend, who is oh so generous, gives you a 'you-have-to-read-this' book? Undoubtably it will be a novel of somewhat questionable writing and most likely filled with a wandering plot that makes you question the publishing industry and characters drawn so thin so can see through them and their families three generations back. Alas, you feign a smile and politely say, 'Oh...thank you' and before you know it you've laid the brickwork for a series of long nights, struggling to finish a few pages before delving into the book you picked out, the one you enjoy, the one taunting you on the bed-side table.
I have recently received such a novel. This time from a friend who usually recommends great books. He introduced me to A House For Mr Biswas, which is now a favourite of mine, so I had every intention of reading the dull, water-warped pages of this 'have-to-read- book', which shall remain nameless for the time being. He had scanned his shelf before our meeting in the city, and thought 'Yes, I bought that years ago when I was in Ireland. It is one of my favourite books. I just forget what it is about' then later told me this as he passed it to me.
I wasn't going to let the one Euro sticker on the cover deter me. Some people just don't have taste. However, the first page was traumatic. Adjective and adverb city! And not just the good old JK Rowling romp through adjective town either. To top it off, it was written in that ever so annoying Old English style (yes, I wrote that on purpose) that leads you to think for the first thirty pages it is set in the 1800s until the protagonist mentions Nixon. Why do authors do this? People from the 1800s aren't reading your book, we are...hopefully.
Tonight marks the fourteenth night of those horrible words and the plot is wandering on one foot, drunk on too much of its own ale, blinded by the umpteenth adjective, searching for a place to lay down and die. I highly suspect this will take place soon, if not, I'll have to shoot it.
Of course there are exceptions to the 'you-have-to-read-this' book lend, but they are exceptions.