What do you do when a book, an author, or both, disappoint you? I mean really disappoint you.
Do you continue to read the book although you want to throw it against the wall at high velocity and yell, “Are you KIDDING me!!!”
Or do you just guts your way through it and then chock it up to not liking the book?
At one time I would have done the latter. I would have plowed through a book because if I started it I had to finish it. I was not a quitter thank you very much.
But as I have gone through life and as I have seen my list of books that I want to read grow larger every year I gave myself permission NOT to finish a book. I give it some time, usually until 1/2 way through the book before I decide that it just isn’t working for me. If I get to that point I will move on to something else. My reading time is valuable to me.
Usually, if there is a book that I don’t like I don’t necessarily have a visceral reaction to it. But there are those times……..
Like when I read The Shack. Yes, I know that there are many who love and praise the book.
I. Loathed. It.
And then there is Eat, Pray, Love. Another book that women seem to love and I just really didn’t like.
But both of the above titles were “stand alones” for me. I hadn’t read any other works by the author. I didn’t have much invested in the relationship as it were. I didn’t really care that I didn’t like the book. I moved on.
However, it is a different matter when you read a book by an author that you love and that book is so disappointing that it takes your breath away. And you want to throw up your hands and throw the book and throw knives and whatever.
That is how I feel about Cleaving by Julie Powell. Disappointment just doesn’t begin to cover it.
Most everyone knows Julie Powell because she wrote the book Julie and Julia: My Year of Cooking Dangerously. I knew who she was long before that because I had read her blog for most of the year that she spent cooking through Mastering the Art of French Cooking by Julia Child. I loved the blog. I loved her writing despite her admitted love for the “F” word. So I was excited to read her next book.
Imagine if you will a book that details (in a most boring fashion) her obsession with learning to cut meat in a butcher shop. It sounds interesting but in her hands it so wasn’t. But even more than that imagine a book where she writes ad nauseum about (in more detail than I EVER wanted to know) her affair of more than two years with a man that she knew in college and re-connected with after her fame and fortune arrived. An affair that her husband knew about from almost the beginning but that she declined to stop. An affair that, when it did end…for a time at least, had her sleeping with other anonymous men. Oh and she details THAT as well.
Yes, imagine that. Or better yet don’t. I am not sure if I have ever been so disappointed in a book that I had anticipated so much. I got about 3/4 of the way through and wondered why she had a book contract and who thought this drivel would be good and, and…
if it hadn’t been a library book that I was reading I really would have chucked it against the wall.
It goes back to the library tomorrow. Thank goodness I didn’t actually buy the thing. And now I need to find something else to read that can cleanse my brain of this awful, disappointing piece of horse pucky. I think I just need to re-read The Lord of the Rings for the…..um…….20th time or so. I KNOW that is good.