Monday, August 10, 2009

Sometimes I need to shut my mouth...about books

Remember when I was saying all those wonderful things about And Then We Came to the End and how accurate and hilarious it was?

Ummm, yeah.

Now, I fully stand by my statement that the first 50 pages are hilarious. It's just that perhaps the book should have stopped there? And been a short story?

Addendum: **SPOILER ALERT** (sorry E!)

Because it proceeds to go into this creepy children dying, cancer ridden, coworkers going crazy and coming back to work dressed as a clown and shooting people with a paint gun place.

And really, I'm not a fan of that place.

A call to the Madre was in order...

Me: What is wrong with this book?
Madre: ?
Me: You said it was FUNNY.
Madre: The beginning was very funny!
Me: Yeah, but then there are 200 or so un-funny pages. That wasn't deemed important enough to mention?!?

And now it is late back to the library because I couldn't renew it because someone else has it on hold and I want to tell them DON'T READ PAST PAGE 50.

Lesson learned. I will now withhold judgments and statements until the END of books.

Meanwhile, I will not comment upon but will tell you that the Madre and I are currently reading John Updike's Rabbit, Run book-club style. Feel free to join in!

"In Rabbit, Run, I liked writing in the present tense. You can move between minds, between thoughts and objects and events with a curious ease not available to the past tense."
John Updike


  1. A couple things - 1) for those of us currently reading this book, your post is sort of a spoiler. Maybe you should slap in a warning. 2 I am only on page 116 (and this is my second attempt to read this book which is 389 pages) should I go on. Because it's really not doing it for me.



    E - I pushed through, but there is no reason why you should. Put it down. Pick up something more enjoyable. I can give you the rest of the deets of how it ends this weekend.

    That is exactly the problem I had with the book Claire. It starts off with one tone, then veers widely away. Bait and switches are fine when they make sense, but there seemed to be no point in this one.

    I absolutely loved the POV chapter from the boss the night before her surgery. But, it totally belonged in a different book. Basically, I thought that Ferris is too clever by half in the novel. In his attempts to satisfy certain post-modern tropes he is left with a bunch of pieces that don't add up to any satisfying whole.

    And ending the main narrative shortly before the defining event for most Americans under 40? And then having the "reunion" chapter set five (or whatever it was) years later. Ugh. Just an unwieldy and unsatisfying conclusion to the mess he created.

    Anyway, I'm glad I wasn't alone in my initial enjoyment and then disillusionment of the novel.

  4. d - SERIOUSLY.

    Perhaps part of the problem is that he is used to writing shorter pieces (for the New Yorker and such) and unknowingly shifts? Or knowingly does so and thinks it's cool?

    I feel like he was attempting to be quirky with his story but it just ended up being played out. Like Joe is the one no one keeps up with because he is an outsider, he isn't one of 'us' and therefore is lost?

    Too neat. No thank you.

    And I get that the myriad of characters is meant to make you feel ensconced in this large office but it really just made me not feel connected to anyone and therefore not like ANYONE.

    P.S. The reunion chapter was stupid. I wanted to slap Benny and say LET IT GO man.

    P.P.S. Ugh.