Thursday, September 11, 2008

Your intellect may be confused, but your emotions will never lie to you.-Roger Ebert

Haven't blogged about Amsterdam yet, because frankly I'm a little loathe to do so. It was so bad. I can't even believe that it won the Man Booker Prize (although so did The English Patient and we all know how I felt about that book), I can't even really express it. While I still think that Ian McEwan has a lovely writing style, this book was basically trash; and no, I really don't think my opinion is going to change as I write like it did with On Chesil Beach. The only character who could have been the least bit interesting was already dead when the book opened, and the remaining characters were so shallow and self-absorbed that it's sickening (even now). Yes, having disagreeable characters worked in On Chesil Beach, they made the book what it was and made you want to jump into the book and tell them what's-what, but the characters in Amsterdam were beyond preposterous. I was seriously disappointed when I finished. It was just so empty and pointless, and ultimately kind of dull. While I was like WTF? towards the end, the outcome really wasn't a surprise. I know that McEwan is so much more than this, which is why I'm giving him one last shot. I've heard some really good things about Saturday, which I recently found at the thrift store, and I intend to read it. This is the best of three Mr. McEwan, right now we stand at 1-1, and I hope you don't disappoint.

I started reading Evening by Susan Minot on Sunday (on the subway, of course) after finishing Amsterdam. It was made into a movie not too long ago with some cool people like Meryl Streep, Vanessa Redgrave, etc. I saw a trailer for it and thought that it looked interesting and decided to read the book first. Really, I think I'm going to have to stop reading it. The entire novel is told in stream of consciousness (read: basically no punctuation, except for periods and the occasional comma), and it's driving me insane. It's barely discernible who's saying what since there are no quotation marks, and you really can't tell the difference between actual speech and just thought. I understand that the novel is supposed to be a swamp of memories recalled by Ann, partially hazed by cancer medication, as she lays dying, but it's ridiculous. I don't know if I can do it people.

I need to read a book that doesn't make me want to stop reading.

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