Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Come Ye, All Bandwagons, That I May Jump Upon Thee

So, after merely two postings, I've already been taken to task for excessive engagement babble. Ok. I can take direction.

I have a bad habit of being among the last to read that book you just must read. Some of this has to do with my dislike of lugging hardcovers unless said hardcovers were penned by Umberto Eco or Milan Kundera, some of it has to do with what I call the New York Magazine Effect. If New York Magazine writes about the hot new place, it was always the general wisdom that the place was no longer hot. Similarly, if everyone is fawning over a book, I have suspicions as to the greatness of said book - I'm looking at you, The Corrections. Some of it is due to my well-documented snobbishness.

But I've been having some rough luck with books of late. Yes, the past two "modernist experiments" should have been a red flag from the beginning, and picking items willy-nilly from one's wishlist that one doesn't remember putting on there to begin with is possibly foolhardy, but I've felt roundly disappointed by most everything I've read lately.

Which is why, with beach time looming, I recently relented and bought the book everyone can't shut up about.

It went quickly enough that in the same weekend I bought the sequel and then, this past Friday night, bought the final book.

And here's what I can say: these books tell a good story and they tell it without the preponderance of cliche, bad writing, and grammatical errors that usually are part and parcel of the book everyone can't shut up about. In some ways, they're like Harry Potter for grownups: you don't need to expend tons of brain power, but you're happily distracted for the several hours it takes to read it. And in my world, if I can't find anything bad to say about a book (ok, fine, I knew whodunit in the first book very early on, but I'm not sure it was supposed to be much of a surprise), that's going to be good enough for me. Because I have a lot of bad things to say about a great many books (do not read Atmospheric Disturbances unless you are feeling especially masochistic).

1 comment:

  1. You're engaged? Really? I couldn't tell.

    I'm reading the first book right now. Glad to know that you liked it enough to buy the sequels. That's high praise indeed.