This blog is now retired. My new site is at: Predictably Irrational.

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Catching Up On DNFers

After a promising run of really fun reads, I had a string of books that I could not finish...WOULD not finish. They just sucked.  Here's a recap of those Did Not Finish novels.

***Spoiler Alert***

So Cold the River by Michael Koryta
I made it to page 241 of this 528 tome. I never really got into it and I'm not sure why I felt the need to keep forging on but I did. Bad timing too because I had no book for two days since the library was closed Thursday and Friday.

Basically, there's a guy, Eric, who apparently has psychic abilities. He used to be a cinematographer in Hollywood but got canned because he speaks his mind (cheesy) so instead, he puts family videos together, or shoots weddings, back in his hometown. At a family gathering where one of his videos is shown, he impresses a family member with a picture he put in, because his psychic ability managed to put in a meaningful picture that only that family member knew about. So she hires Eric to put together a video of her dying father-in-law for her husband. She pays him *a lot* of money and sends him off to the father-in-law's hometown, to gather memories of said FIL for the video.

There's water involved - mineral water in a bottle that FIL has kept for many years. The hometown is known for having this magic water that was sold as a cure-for-all back in the day, when elixirs like that were being touted. This bottle, however, is cold. Like abnormally cold. So daughter-in-law loans it to Eric to research while he's in FIL's hometown.

The bottle gets colder and colder and for some weird, unexplained reason, that becomes more and more prevalent in the book (unexplained reasons for doing things), Eric opens the frozen bottle and DRINKS it. Later, he drinks another bottle. That bottle does not freeze. But both bottles help relieve excruciating headaches that he gets. Why he gets these I don't know. I didn't read far enough and frankly, I couldn't give a shit.

There's also FIL's distant relative Josiah, who is a mean motherfucker. He doesn't like anyone snooping around about his family. Why, we don't know other than he's just grumpy all the time. Eric befriends a black dude who drive a Porsche who could've been in the NBA but instead, his brother went (that's how he got the Porsche) but he decided to pursue education and now a doctorate. He was looking into the FIL lineage and the name of the FIL matches the name of some guy who should be well over 100 years old.

Yeah. This story was going nowhere...slowly. I went to goodreads to read the reviews with spoilers and focused mainly on the negative reviews because I was pretty much fed up with the book. Nothing was going to make me like it. Reading the reviews made me realize I wasted way too much time on it.

American Purgatorio by John Haskell
I made it to page 132 of 264 (purely coincidental). The first few pages intrigued me as he writes that he "...was in the middle of living happily ever after when something happened." And that something is that his wife, Anne, went missing. And for 132 pages, he went looking for Anne.

But he didn't call anyone. He didn't call Anne's family, who they were supposed to see when she went missing.  He would stop and interact with people, stay at campsites, schmooze with women, on his journey to California (from New Jersey, where she went missing) to find Anne. This whole book (well, 132 pages of it) was like being drunk and reading words that made no sense. Or maybe being high and writing it, then waking up the next morning and re-reading what you wrote and going "What the fuck?" I went to the end to see if he found Anne. He did. It didn't make sense. I went to goodreads to find out what the fuck happened. She was dead. They both were. Apparently, when she went missing, they were both killed at the gas station in New Jersey and all those people he met on the way to California were dead too.  Whatever genre of novel this falls into? It's too deep for me.

Where the God of Love Hangs Out by Amy Bloom
I made a mistake when I added this to my "to read" list because this book ended up being a compilation of short stories. I don't like those types of books. I don't know why but I don't. I tried. I read one story; tried another but just didn't feel good about it.

The story I did read centered around two married couples who were long-time friends. But one from each couple (man and woman) were having an affair. Eventually, they would leave their respective husband/wife and marry. Then the husband would die and the woman would mourn his passing. That's it. All the details in between are just descriptions about how she feels about him, how he looks, how her kids don't condone the relationship, etc. The end.

The Night Strangers by Chris Bohjalian
This one started with a plane crash. The pilot is trying to land the plane like Captain Sully did on the Hudson River. But he doesn't and instead, 39 people die. The pilot, Chip, lives with the guilt and shame and his wife, Emily, decides they should relocate to an old Victorian house in a small town in New start over.

They soon find that most of the town becomes obsessed with their twin 10 year old daughters. This is where the problem starts: every party, social gathering, casual meeting these people show up to, the adults fawn over the twins and leave the parents standing alone. And the parents do not seem to find this odd at all.

Chip starts seeing dead passengers in his house, especially that of a young 9 year old. The dad (also dead) is really pissed off at Chip for killing him and his daughter and tells Chip how she has no playmates. So Chip feels bad and does what any dad would do: thinks about which twin to kill to keep the dead 9 year old company.

If this sounds the least bit intriguing to you, let me just say that when I went to goodreads to read the spoilers, there is a disconnect between Chip and his ghosts, the twins, and the townspeople...meaning, those storylines are apparently NOT connected. FYI: 197 of 378. I think that was just a hair off of being over a waste of time.

1 comment:

  1. I've really enjoyed most of Bohjalian's books, but that one just sounds bizarre! I think I'll pass on picking that one up!