It's not often that I walk away from a book. I'm a bit like a dog with a bone and will keep on nibbling at it until I finally reach the end. It could take months, literally the same book for months. It's not at all fun. I really should learn to just let go. Which is exactly what I did on the advice of Fizz.
This is the current book I've been battling with:
I have only read one other book by Lionel Shriver: We Need to Talk About Kevin. Even though it was dark reading matter I seem to remember that it was easy to read, as in it flowed well and was easy to follow. Fast forward to The Post-Birthday World and the stickiness and all round bleurgh.
First up, the characters were really not that interesting. I got through to just before halfway and I didn't care at all what was going to happen to any of them. The various book reviews inside talk about the humour (er, nope), the brilliant observations of life (uh, really?), and the cleverness. Ah the cleverness. Yes, her starter was clearly an expansive vocabulary. She followed up with eating a thesaurus for her main, and rounded off the meal with a dictionary for pudding. Seriously Lionel, what is with all the big words?! I spent much of my reading time feeling absolutely stupid and the rest strongly resisting the urge to go and get my dictionary to find out what she was trying to say. This does not make for pleasurable reading.
Curious I went to my go-to book review venue and there was a real mixture of five star wonderfulness versus two star well below par. My favourite review and the one I most agree with was when the book was described as a "chore". Oh yes. Very accurately summed up. And so I quit. Right there. I pulled my bookmark from my place and filed it in the return to charity shop pile. Sorry Lionel, but your parallel-universe structure and giant words just didn't do it for me. So much so that I will be giving any of your other books a very wide berth. Epic fail.