Friday, 15 April 2011

Not Really a Review ...

Oh, David Mitchell, why do I not get on with you? I tried, but failed miserably. I know I'm in the minority here - I have read so many glowing (gushing?) reviews about The Thousand Autumns of Jacob De Zoet. I saw David Mitchell interviewed on BBC News recently and thought he seemed like a really lovely man - this is what pushed me to try the book. I've had Cloud Atlas on my TBR shelf for ages, and I have even picked it up once or twice, but put it back after a couple of pages, thinking I wasn't in the right mood for it. I really wanted to like this new book but sadly it wasn't to be!

I managed to stick with it for 80 or so pages. Several things were irritating me. I had no idea what was going on - there didn't really seem to be any sort of plot developing, and with so many characters I was having trouble keeping track of who was who. The pigeon English of the Japanese characters was really getting on my nerves. But there was one small thing that was annoying me beyond belief, and that was Mitchell's style of writing ... the way he breaks up dialogue in the middle of a sentence ... some random examples:

"From what mouse-hole," Marinus glares "did you spring?"
"Where," the prisoner manages to croak, "am I to be incarcerated?"
"Did I" - Ouwehand consults the ceiling - "utter a single word?"

I just found the writing to be so disjointed and non-flowy (yes, it's a word ;)) and it BUGGED ME! Sorry, David, I'm afraid your writing is just not for me. 1/5

On a different subject ... boys and reading. I have a 9 year old son who is very clever. He is in year 4 and is attaining levels expected in year 6. Obviously, he can read. Very well. But it is so difficult to get him interested in a book! He went through a stage of devouring the Beast Quest books, but eventually got a bit bored with them, then discovered Football Academy books, but he zips through them in half a day. He enjoyed all the Wimpy Kid books. I know he hasn't read a book at home for a long time. So this Easter holidays I set him and his 12 year old sister (similar problems with her actually!) a challenge to read two books. Just two. I didn't want to push it. We went to the library and he chose the three books in the post below. He said he would count the two Football Academy books as one as they are so quick to read. Unfortunately Eye of the Sun didn't grab him. So earlier in the week we went shopping and stopped off in Waterstones where he chose this:

Seriously, get your 9 year old boys this book! He was engrossed! Yes, it was a quick read, he finished it the same day, but I didn't hear a peep out of him (except for a few chuckles). I've had a quick look at it myself, and it is FUNNY! There are more to come in this series and I can't wait for them to be published! Anything that gets boys reading makes me happy :)

1 comment:

  1. Uh-oh, sounds like Cloud Atlas. I think he is good writer but his plots are never easy to follow and it stops being enjoyable at that point. I think I'll steer clear of this one.