Tag Archives: Gillian Flynn

I give up!

I’ve agonised over this, but I’m just not enjoying this book!  So I’m giving up on it.  In my earlier life I would never have done this, I used to have to read a book to the end no matter what.  Now, for some reason, it seems unnecessary to put myself through something I’m just not enjoying (I’ve got the dentist and performance related pay for that kind of thing).

100man

How did I arrive at this decision?  It’s not a bad book, it’s a bit quirky and interesting.  It seems to be going somewhere in a meandering kind of way.  If I continued, and this is what kept me going this long, it might be a great book, but I don’t hold out much hope.  The final reason, and probably the single most common reason why I give up reading a book, is I just don’t like any of the characters.  Which is surprising, because I will quite happily read novels about murders and terrible acts by one person to another, but the author normally includes one person who you like, or have sympathy for, or identify with.  I wonder if you have to like at least one character in a book to enjoy it?  In this book I’m not sure I found the characters particularly believable and certainly not likeable.  I didn’t dislike them, I am just indifferent to them.   Or perhaps you don’t have to like them but you have to feel strongly about them, like or dislike, you want to see them win or lose, to get a reward or their comeuppance.

“So what?” I found myself thinking as I was trying to concentrate and failing.

I’d describe the book as Forest Gump meets Thelma and Louise meets The Old Devils.  That sounds quite interesting but  it’s told in a kind of Grimms Fairy Tale style.

Other books I can remember bailing out on for this reason are Before They Are HangedJoe Abercrombie, and Catch 22Joseph Heller.  Both are well regarded books, but not for me.  There are others, but I’ve forgotten them.

Catch-22

Catch-22 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Cover of "Before They are Hanged (First L...

Cover of Before They are Hanged (First Law)

Anyway, I’m off now to read Gone GirlGillian Flynn, which I am assured is fantastic.  Not a BIB I’m afraid, I chose it.  But so far I seem to be enjoying BIBs more than my chosen books.

I’m also considering treating myself to the entire current list from Richard and Judy’s Book Club, as a Christmas present as I have found some fantastic books on there in the past, in preparation as BIBs I’m avoiding them in book shops!

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What’s the world reading then?

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The Collaborator – Gerald Seymour – early days still, but I’m a bit “Come on! Get on with it!”

Since I started this blog I’ve discovered some fantastic blogs about books and reading.  I am particularly fond of the US Library and bookshop blogs, which really feel dynamic and engendering a sense of community.  I wish our libraries in the UK did this, it would be great.  I’m considering going into my local library and suggesting it.  With a community of contributors it strikes me as a no-brainer and relatively easy.  But I think they might just think I’m a weirdo!  I’ll let you know how I get on.

Looking at other blogs from around the world has exposed me to whole libraries of books I would never have come across.  I had assumed that bestsellers (with “the international bestseller” splashed across the cover) would be a world-wide phenomenon.  I thought there’d be an inescapable bank of books, so I thought I’d look.  This is what I found

  USA (New York Times Bestsellers w/e Aug 4) UK (Lovereading.co.uk w/e July 20) NZ (Nielsen Weekly Bestsellers w/e July 13)
1 THE CUCKOO’S CALLING THE RACKETEER INFERNO
  Robert Galbraith John Grisham Dan Brown
2 THE ENGLISH GIRL THE CASUAL VACANCY AND THE MOUNTAINS ECHOED
  Daniel Silva J.K.Rowling Khaled Hosseini
3 FIRST SIGHT THE CUCKOO’S CALLING SECOND HONEYMOON
  Danielle Steel Robert Galbraith James Patterson
4 INFERNO GUILTY WIVES ENTWINED WITH YOU
  Dan Brown James Patterson Sylvia Day
5 HUNTING EVE OH DEAR SYLVIA UNSEEN
  Iris Johansen Dawn French Karin Slaughter
6 SECOND HONEYMOON SOME DAY I’LL FIND YOU FIFTY SHADES OF GREY
  James Patterson Richard Madeley E.L. James
7 HIDDEN ORDER GONE GIRL THE KEEPER OF SECRETS
  Brad Thor Gillian Flynn Julie Thomas
8 AND THE MOUNTAINS ECHOED TRUST YOUR EYES THE SON IN LAW
  Khaled Hosseini Linwood Barclay Charity Norman
9 PULSE, by Gail McHugh CRIMINAL THE KILL ROOM
  Gail McHugh Karin Slaughter Jeffery Deaver
10 GONE GIRL THE BAT A WANTED MAN
  Gillian Flynn Jo Nesbo Lee Child

Sorry, I couldn’t do every country, but I thought this was very interesting.   Finding the information first was difficult, thank you New York Times for making it easy to get yours, boo to The Sunday Times (UK) for making it impossible to get your list without a subscription, and I wasn’t sure where to look for New Zealand but relied on Google.

There are overlaps, and some authors appear repeatedly, I expect that’s to do with the size of the publicity machine of the publisher, but there are also some significant differences.  I can’t comment on US and NZ but there are a couple on the list which are by celebrities turned authors who I doubt have much of a following outside the UK.  The UK list has many books set in the US, so was surprised not to see those in the US list (perhaps it’s a date of publication thing?) and it doesn’t look like Robert Gailbraith aka Joanne (she who must not be named!) has hit NZ yet.  Some of the UK ones are quite old too.  I wonder how many books in each list are set in other countries (UK list not set in UK etc).  Would this be an indicator of character of that country?  If a countries bestseller list contained mainly home grown stuff does that indicate it is inward looking for example?

I did find the New Zealand listing fantastic though (Nielsen Weekly Bestsellers List) it is separated out into international and NZ books, the NZ books look really good.  I think this may be another way of How do I not pick a book? and it’s pretty easy to stick to the rules of Blissfully Ignorantly Reading.

I’m going to keep an eye on these lists and see how they compare over time.