Friday, June 15, 2007

The Historian Can Bite My Butt

And lo, my butt is big! 650 pages! I wasted my whole lunch break to read the last 50 today and it was so disappointing. Here is a summary of why it was a total waste of my time, as told in snotty narration as I imagine the author must have conceptualized it:

"I'm going to tell most of the story through letters so that 70% of the book's paragraphs will start with quotation marks! Then I'm going to wait until the last 50 pages to neatly tie up all the loose ends, except for the last 5 pages in which I will pretend like there is the possibility of a sequel even though all the characters are dead, totally squared away or both."

Why did I finish it, you might ask? Yes, why indeed. There are several reasons.

1) I hate to leave a book unfinished. Especially when they're a really easy read. Or I'm trapped on a plane and my only other option is Daredevil. ::shudder::

2) There was only one thing I couldn't figure out. One stupid, stupid plot point that seemed too poorly thought out to go unexplained. It takes too many sentences to explain the actual plot point, but suffice it to say it was along the lines of writing a book about the Greatest Chef's In All Of History and they all happen to be from the same town in the same state and they were all born within 50 years of one another and all end up working in the same restaurant together. That is so patently ridiculous, the author must have an explanation, right? Oh - she does - but that doesn't mean it's a good explanation, or that she'll spell it out before the last 50 pages.

3) At some point, you've looked at a train wreck long enough and you just have to stick around and see if anyone survived.

Anyway, there are only two reasons I would ever recommend this book: you're at the beach (where anything is worth reading because, hey, you're at the beach!) or you're stuck on a plane where your other option is talking to a sweaty old guy with a bad comb-over who keeps looking at your "goodies" or a really fabulous movie like Mrs Doubtfire or the aforementioned Daredevil.


Eric said...

Speaking of book endings, this really ties in with your last post, but I think The Silmarillion could have used a lot more sex scenes. Finally a chance for some hot elf-elf action. Did I mention that the end of that book sucked, too?

Sydney said...

If you want elf-elf action, Eric, it is there on the Intertubes, yours for the consuming. But I have to warn you, there is nothing more embarrassing to read, in my opinion, than Tolkien-Related Elf Sex Fan Fiction. ::shudder::

When I read The Lord of The Rings series, I got all into it and when we got back from Europe I was all surfing the net to learn more, like what other books there were, etc. The first time I stumbled across this type of fan fiction, I thought, "Oh, tee hee, fantasy nerd sex! That's kind of funny." And I suffered my heebie and moved on. But the second time, I thought, "Huh. Is this, like, a common thread? Is it weird that when I read these books I at no time thought, 'what this series needs is for Arwen and Aragon to get it on'?" I felt kind of icky, suffered my jeebie and moved on. The third time, well, that was it for me and surfing the net for Tolkien discussion.

And now whenever I see total Tolkien nerds (please note: this applies only to adults) all dressed like elves or rangers or dwarves at the Saturday Market or wherever, all I can think is, "This is really just a public airing of a sex fetish." The really strange thing is that I don't think I'd find guys in S&M gear at Saturday Market as icky. (An aside: Pete and I actually saw dudes on super tall unicycles in what looked like S&M gear jousting at that park on the corner of SE 21st & Belmont. That was funny and weird and kind of wonderful.) I think it's because Lord of The Rings is written for children. I think furries are icky too, specifically because it seems like a perversion of a childhood artifact. (I'm not saying that one must be a pervert to be a furry... I'm simply saying sex + children = eight kinds of no good, so sex + childhood artifact = makes Sydney feel really icky.)

In addition to the whole "sexifying kid stuff" thing, I just can't imagine only getting sexual satisfaction by pretending to be something you're not - the key word there being "only." And publicly. I mean, what makes people want to share their fetishes with the world indiscriminately?

But then, maybe I'm too prudish.