Wednesday, May 27, 2009

The Little Book

I am so over time travel.  After 17 episodes of Season 5 of LOST, Star Trek and this book, that's it.  I'm done with time travel of any sort for months if not years.

This book should have been right up my alley, essentially a historical novel but with an added element of time travel.  But I guess all the debate over whether whatever happened happens versus alternate universes finally fried my brain because I could not get into this novel.  And having forced myself to finish it I can't recommend it.  

It certainly proved the LOST producers point that time travel without characters you care about can be boring.  My biggest problem with The Little Book was that I just didn't care about Wheeler Burden or any of his ancestors.  My second biggest problem with the book is the focus on Freud and psycho-analysis.  Blah, blah, blah, that stuff doesn't interest me in the least and the contrivances with respect to Weezie were gross and unnecessary.  

This novel has been 30 years in the making.  I think that's part of the problem.  It was trying to be too many things at once -- a period piece; sci fi; a character study; a mixture of the real and the fictional.  It did none of them well.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

The Lace Reader

This is an unusual book for me.  It's what I'd call a woman's book, but it's not chick lit and it's not romance.  Still I can't imagine a man really enjoying it.  The book is set in Salem, Massachusetts.  I visited Salem about this time last year, and I like reading books set in places I've been, so it definitely satisfied on that level.

This is a very psychological novel and strongly involves the supernatural.  It's not a book I'd recommend without qualifications, but it was a good read.  The way the author plays with narrative is interesting, but most of all, the characters are well-drawn so that you care about their outcome.  I think the end was more disquieting than satisfying for me.  Still I'm glad I read The Lace Reader.  And for the record, I'd never get lace read for myself.  Not my scene.