I've been suffering from a writing slump. Probably has to do with overwhelming spring tiredness. It's the middle of the March now, and this morning it is minus 20 degrees of cold outside... just made me want to run into a wall.
There are three books I have finished but haven't noted down in the blog - the two mentioned in the title and "Persuasion", which I read for the Classics Club. As for "Bag of Bones" and "Gone Girl", I decided to write down my thoughts in very short form, because neither one really moved me to the core (positively nor negatively).
"Bag of Bones" had some good things speaking for it. I like reading about literature-y people, and the main character here is writer Mike Noonan. There are piles of references to different authors and books (including a huge spoiler on du Maurier's "Rebecca" - that was bad, please don't spoil books, or at least stick a warning label on your novel :p), and I really liked reading about intelligent characters. Another thing especially praiseworthy in my book is the portrayal of a 3-year old girl. Because whether it be films or books, I tend to have problems with kids in them. Either they are shown over-intelligent and non-believable, or just total brats, or I don't know. It's just an individual thing I guess, but the kid in King's novel was a-do-rable. Super cute. I liked the way she spoke.
But, there is an odd thing that has happened to both two King books I read last. The reading process of "Needful Things" is one of the most shocking ones I ever had. I started reading it, and was soooo badly sucked in, I read it all the time and everywhere. Then, somewhere at 75% through point, there was a total halt. There were too many characters by the time, things got very messy and at the point, which was supposed to be a culmination of the story, I lost interest. The book stayed on my bookshelf for months, before I finally pulled myself together and just forced through it.
And the same kind of thing happened this time. Around 3/4 through the book, I lost a great slice of interest. I didn't give it up this time (and overall "Bag of Bones" was a lot better book as well), but I just thought if it's going to become some kind of King-curse for me. Maybe I should try some books that people have praised more, like "Stand" or "It" or "Carrie".
"Gone Girl" was kind of an experimental purchase, as I would have never picked up this one without all the buzz and fuzz in other book blogs. I was fairly certain that this is the type of book that I'd finish fast (true) and so it wasn't that huge of an investment (except money-wise, hehe).
I can't say it was a bad book. It wasn't. I think it was pretty well written, in its genre. Props to Flynn for knitting such an intricate network of twists and turns throughout all 400+ (or how many there were) pages. There were some quite clever and intelligent passages. It was interesting to observe how my opinion of the characters changed as the book progressed. I didn't like the characters but I liked how they were portrayed. At times I got nauseous (that's not all that bad thing when reading - better than feeling nothing).
However, I was right when I kind of started having this hunch that these kinds of books, let's call it "curveball prose", ain't really my thing. So much happens in short period of time that I get bored in the end (and after that 54th surprise, you know, 55th surprise ain't all that "surprising" anymore).
I do enjoy a suspense/mystery/thriller book every once in a while, but you are right when you said, "after that 54th surprise, you know, 55th surprise ain't all that "surprising" anymore" -- awesome! (& so true!)ReplyDelete
Hehe :) Yeah, I can occasionally enjoy a detective novel, for example, but I think from this book I expected something more/else, especially considering it is longlisted for Women's Prize this year. But I also think it's not a bad book at all, just not for me.Delete
I love that bit about the 55th surprise. They do become a bit tiresome if overused. Thanks for your thoughts on Gone Girl. I've been hearing such rave reviews I've been quite curious about it, but deep down I suspect that, like you, it just wasn't my thing. I think I'll give it a pass for now and stick with my nineteenth-century novels. :)ReplyDelete
My first reaction was also to stick with my classics and fantasy books. And I had my doubts from the beginning, regarding "GG", so I guess it was more like just a proof that maybe it just ain't that much my genre, considering the amount of good reviews on it (I haven't seen a bad review, just a few more "mehs" like mine).Delete
I have read a lot of Stephen King- but not this one.ReplyDelete
I read Gone Girl and it was definitely a fast read. I loved your review and thought it was great when you mentioned the 55th surprise. :)
Mr King has sure been productive! That's why it's so difficult to choose what to read from him. I don't want to write him off just yet so I will probably read some more of his books in future (though need a little break just now).Delete