So, remember that resolution I made to read a certain number of books in the year 2014? I’ve been working on that. I failed so miserably last year that I wanted to get a leg up on the challenge this year, just in case late 2014 gets busy. What I’ve encountered lately is a lot of stories that simply let me down. I picked 3 or 4 works with excellent reviews on Goodreads and trusted blindly that each book would be added to my list of favorites. False. None of these books are going anywhere near my “top shelf books” shelf (which coincidentally happens to be the top shelf) of my bookcase. Let me do a little recapping for you:
“In the Tall Grass” AND The Eyes of the Dragon by Stephen King – These sucked. “(…) Tall Grass” is a “short story” by King and it stays true to his penchant for grossness overkill. “(…) the Dragon” is a novella intended for bored, simple-minded children. I don’t know why I keep giving King a chance. Misery was amazing. Everything else, including “In the Tall Grass” and The Eyes of the Dragon is major crap-ola. Don’t read them. Don’t.
“Perfume: The Story of the Murderer” by Patrick Suskind – Get this: this story had AMAZING ratings. People were losing their minds over this junk on Goodreads. “Such a great story line.” “Amazing writing style and poetic imagery.” Yadda yadda yadda, blah blah don’t care. This book was boring. Just like my gripe with The Devil in the White City, don’t say something about murder in the subtitle if murder comprises maybe 5% of the entire novel. The rest is, indeed, beautiful imagery and descriptive writing that goes from being charming and beautiful to overkill much akin to King up there. I do NOT need 4 pages to understand that lavender smells good; it does NOT take a whole 15-page chapter to describe the cave this freakazoid lived in. It was too much to the point of me finishing it, not because it was good, not because it was interesting, but just so I could gripe about it right here, right now. Don’t waste your time.
Lastly, The Name of the Wind by Patrick Rothfuss was listed on Goodreads alongside “The Lord of the Rings,” “A Song of Ice and Fire,” and the “Harry Potter” series in a list of the best epic fantasy series’ ever. The latter three are my whole life, thankyouverymuch, so I thought to myself “Lindsay, if it is included with such literary royalty, it MUST be good!” It was… fine. It seemed like Rothfuss used this fist installment in his series as a chance to set the stage for drama and intrigue, but not to include drama and intrigue. In the other three series’, the fist book could easily stand alone as a totally kickin’ novel. But the beauty is that they don’t have to do that; these books (The Fellowship of the Ring, A Game of Thrones, and Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone) establish the characters, include plot twists and turmoil, resolve said turmoil, and leave a string of intrigue for the following volumes, which compels readers to continue the series. The Name of the Wind is technically about 1/3 of the life story of some mysterious, interesting man. He is telling the story of his (sob-story) childhood, so we are only introduced to a handful of characters in 660+ pages; it introduced a major “villain” whom I assume will be in the following volumes, since they were merely mentioned twice in, again, 660 pages. The rest of it is just fluff. A dumb & frustrating love story, immature rivalry, working on school, getting in trouble, blah blah blah. There was no need for it to be that long. It took 3 weeks to finish because I was only mildly interested. I tell you what: Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows was way longer and didn’t take me nearly that long… because I was fascinated and hard-core emotionally invested. I haven’t decided whether I’m going to read the next installment. Should I?
Let me know what you think and don’t waste your time on any of the crap listed above. I’ll keep going on the Book Challenge since I have my life back. Stay tuned.