Tiny Coconut

I have things.

Wednesday, July 07, 2004


So I finally finished reading Middlesex. And I'm just going to be brave and say it. I didn't get it. Not 'I didn't understand it.' I didn't get it. The hype. The praise. The incredible reviews. There were things to be impressed with in the book. Jeffrey Eugenides knows him some stuff. Factoids and bits o' info abound. But the characters were more-often-than-not poorly drawn. The plot meandered, and didn't go where it needed to go. It switched levels of reality on a regular basis, and didn't really achieve what it seemed to be setting out to do. And it suffered from that overly-rushed ending disease that so many novelists seem to succumb to these days. In fact, let me make that a public service announcement. Take as much time with the last third of your book as you do with the first third, would you. Yeah, I'm talking to you, you writer person. And to you, too.

And I could go off for half an hour on how quickly I recoiled from his deciding to have a character called Chapter 11. There was simply no justification for it. I got WHY he was called that, right when I was supposed to. But it was so disingenuous, so smarmily cute and inappropriate...Well, it just sealed the deal for me.

I wanted to like this book. I expected to like it, if not love it. But I did neither. What about you? Did you like it? And if so, please tell me why. Maybe I just didn't get it in that other sense of the phrase.

I've now moved on to Eats, Shoots and Leaves. Now THAT is some funny stuff, and some excellent writing. Maybe it will take the bad taste out of my mouth from Middlesex, and the even worse taste in my mouth that Carrie Fisher's The Best Awful left when I read that during my bipolar-book-writing days. (The bottom line: Don't even consider buying or reading it. It's awful. Not the best awful. Simply, truly awful.)

And there you have it. Book reviews you didn't ask for. Don't say I never gave you anything.

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