Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Tuesdays With Noirrie

Books ....

A little sad here. A couple of years ago (? - not sure of the timing and am too lazy to go look it up) Sue Monk Kidd released her first novel, The Secret Life of Bees. It was a WONDERFUL novel and if you've not read it, stop, go do so now. You'll love it. I know I did. That's why I was so happy when I noticed a new book by SMK on the shelf - The Mermaid Chair. Starting a new book is always just a tiny bit like Christmas anyway. First you see the pretty outside package, pick it up, perhaps even fondle it a bit. Then you crack open the wrapping and get your first glimpse of what lies inside. Finally, you read through it, discovering the complete gift. This delicious anticipation is even sweeter when said novel is a new one by a particularly beloved author.

I'm sad to report that Mermaid was a big disappointment to me. I can't pinpoint the exact reason. The writing was good. The story should have been good. But, for me, it was all just "okay". By the end I was wading through it, not because I was still interested, but because I had come that far and was determined to see it through. There was nothing at all that really captured me about it. In the case of this book, I excitedly unwrapped the gift only to find that it contained socks and underwear. And not the kind of underwear your hubby would buy you at Victoria's Secret. The kind your granny would give you. Anyone else agree? Or am I alone in this assessment?

I re-started a Stephen King novel last night. Or, more accurately, a collection of novellas ... The Bachman Books. Have you all read a SK book yet? If not, stop now and go do so. Do this before you read Bees. It's okay. This'll wait. Seriously. Even those of you who say you don't like scary books. Did you know that 90% of SK's books aren't scary? And quite a few of them aren't even all that weird (although I must admit that the majority of them are). I recommend The Stand for a first SK read. Yah, it's seriously long. Quit whining and just do it. If you want to be a big baby you can read the original, abridged version which contained only abut 2,847,938 pages as opposed to the later-released unabridged one which contains 3,469,324 pages. But if you're gonna commit, commit. Go for the unabridged. You won't be sorry.

Oh, and when reading any SK book, always read the prologue. I don't always read these in books. Mostly, they're boring. I usually start them, just in case they contain information I need to have to enjoy the book, but get bored (impatient?) before I finish so skip the rest and hop into the novel. Never, ever skip the prologues in SK's books. They're as entertaining as the books themselves.

I'll expect a report in two weeks.


Nicole said...

I was disappointed in the Mermaid Chair too. Same kind of "not quite sure" why reason. But it left me feeling wrong.

Martha said...

Oh, Oh, Mr. Kotter, ME TOO!!! (am I dating myself when I reference Horschak and his jumping up and down in his seat with an amen/me too attitude).

Mermaid Chair did nothing for me and I really was disappointed in it. While I'm no literary expert, this book seemed so staged and read with an echo of effort...as if the author was being forced to write again. There was no "heart" to her story. Huge disappointment...she should have stuck with just that first great work.

Diana Sioux said...

Thank you guys! I thought maybe it was just me. I'm so glad to know someone else felt the same way.