Monday, April 11, 2011

reviews of the bitter

I gave up. Twice.
(Semi-Spoiler ahead)
The Shack. I made it about half-way through. I kept saying that I’d finish it. Just so I could give it a full picture at the end. I couldn’t do it. I must say, the murdered daughter (at least I’m assuming she’s still murdered by the end of the book) was the lucky one. She didn’t have to be much of a part of the story, she escaped it a lot sooner than I did. Granted, I’m sure I had a bad attitude, but it was earned. I really was hopeful. I thought the book might give a new perspective as claimed by so many readers. Maybe it did. I wasn’t nauseous before I read it. I can see where the religious morons were offended by the book. God’s a big, black woman for one. Oh, shudder! God, a girl! A black girl! Maybe there’s more that offends them later on, I don’t know. I didn’t mind that part. It talked about God being neither male nor female, but simply other than us. That’s pretty Biblical. The part that got to me was the dialogue between the main character and the three characters of the trinity. Just so sappily saccharin. And every stupid religious cliché that exists. More and more of I’m God, so other, there’s no way to understand me. Love, love, love. Pain, pain, pain. God, God, God. Granted, I only got halfway through, but seriously. Unless the book did a one-eighty later, it seemed written for people who didn’t have two functioning synapses to communicate. Moving on, before I started to blame God for the creation of that novel. Goodness!
I switched to The Road. A movie that I thought was brilliant, poignant, and shattering. One of those movies that made me excited to write. To create. To move people with words. I was a little intimidated to start the book. To read an author who I would never be able to compare my own writing skills, who would be so far above me. Then, the unthinkable happened. The movie turned out to eclipse the book three times over. Very rare. The only other book I recall having such an experience with was Practical Magic—but at least I finished that one.
I hate not finishing books. It’s kinda like pulling someone’s life-support. Those characters died in my mind before their time. However, I can’t say I wasn’t grateful to see their light extinguished.
Moving on.

4 comments:

Cheeseburgers and Pajamas said...

I only made it a forth of the way and had to dump it. It was killing me!

dwain said...

Okay, and now we have a problem. The Road is one of my favorite books of the last 10 years. The beauty of his prose, both in its simple descriptions and in its vivid ones, lies in the poetry of language creating image, language creating mood, language creating emotion. The last paragraph of the book is haunting, one of those paragraphs I wish I could have written.

You've hurt me, Brandon!

Brandon said...

Dwain,
I'm so sorry! Actually, I really am. I so wanted to feel that way. I really did. I may have to come back when I'm in a different space. I really do love the story, but couldn't get into the writing. Maybe when I'm as intelligent as you I can absorb it better (not being sarcastic). :) b

dwain said...

You're flattering, but it's a book that's probably a love-it-or-hate-it because of how dark and devoid of dialogue it is. I read his "opus," Blood Meridian, and had to read it in short bits because it was so violent that I couldn't absorb it all. Beautifully written, but wow! is it rough.