Wednesday, February 2, 2011

How NOT To...

Most of my posts have been about my comics work, self-promotion really. But I also try to comment about books I've read, and the dearth of posts on this subject reveals how little in the way of long form reading I've been doing this past year.

I got this book, How To Live Safely In A Science Fictional Universe as a Christmas gift from C, and its one I had looked at previously and thought sounded promising. Clever title, and the central conceit of time travel as tense had promise. The author introduced several characters, or at least character concepts that appeared likely as sources of humor or insight.They provided neither.

The book reads at a brisk pace. Yet it took me several weeks to get 80% of the way through the book. Some of this I attribute to my own malaise about reading novels these days. I am spending a good deal my intellectual capital on short for reading... mostly on my computer.

But in truth, I did something I almost never do. I quit. I had maybe less than 50 pages of reading left to do, and I put the book down and said to myself, "No more."
I even flipped through to the end to see what happened, and evidently something did happen, but I couldn't bring myself to care about how it happened. I just couldn't care about the central character, and I was tired of waiting for some plot development.

I simply got worn out listening to the narrator whine about his relationship with his father. As with the last book I read, Big Machine either the author was not in control of his metaphors and themes or they were too deep for me.

Frankly, if a book can't engage me 20% of the way in, I should have an obligation to finish it. 80% seems like I gave it altogether too much credit. Going in, it seemed like a book I would like. Somebody liked it... they published it. C plans to read it. Perhaps it will suit her more than me. I hope so.

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