Thursday, January 8, 2009

trying...100 pages later...

I'm reading The Story of Edgar Sawtelle by David Wroblewski for Bumble Book Club this month. I'm on page 103. I still have no idea what the story is about. The prose is pretty...and prosaic. But this book is dull I tell you so dull that I don't want to finish it. I'm an anal-retentive finisher type of gal. I always read the book club book--cover to cover, with prepared remarks. Only 450 pages to go.

The book was endorsed by Richard Russo--a man whose work I adore. He was also David Wroblewski's teacher in David's MFA program at Warren Wilson, so did he really like the book or was he just doing a favor for a student? Stephen King endorsed the book. I respect and admire Stephen King's writing. Oprah endorsed this book. I despise Oprah. Her books are always of a type and so far? This book is that type. Lovely writing, confusing narrative and (I suspect) a dark and miserable ending.

I give a shit about dogs having babies and some mute kid confused by his lying uncle. Bor-ring.

Back to reading the damn book.

450 pages to go.


  1. Life's too short - bag the book. Some just aren't for everyone. I love Stephen King's books but there have been more than one of his I haven't finished. I could not get through Hearts in Atlanta or Blaze - I think those were the names.

    Maybe it was me or my life at the time, but nope not enough time to read those ones. And 450 pages to go - sheesh...I've even walked out of movies though when I'm too bored.

  2. I'm with Kim. I have to bail an a book if it's that much of a chore. There's too many other great ones still to read.

  3. thank you! i bought that book (so mad) and couldn't even get 25 pages into it. b.o.r.e.d. can't stand oprah books (can't stand oprah either)

  4. I am so thrilled to find out that I am not the only woman who cannot abide Oprah and don't give a flying fig what she wants to read. Thank you!

    Now, about the book. I hate to chime in if you're determined to finish it, but I have always thought it was the author's responsibility to keep the reader engaged. If the book's not holding your attention and you're bored with it, it's the writer's failure, not yours.

    That's just another perspective.

    (Thanks for your comment on my 'Drama' post, by the way. It helps to know that other moms struggle with it, too.) -MM

  5. Oh no!!!
    I just preordered the paperback a few weeks ago... I'm sorry to hear it's so boring!

    I almost always love Oprah's books... her taste is similar to mine I guess. But I hated "Love in the Time of Cholera" and ended up putting it down because it was so boring.

    I guess I'll give it a shot since I bought it, when it finally arrives.

    I agree with the others, though, life's too short to waste time reading a book you don't love! Reading time is precious and rare (at least in my house) and it should be an enjoyable experience. Afterall, we aren't in grade school anymore. We won't get in trouble for not reading something! I'm sure your book club will understand!

  6. Sorry to hear about the book--I bought it and was saving it to read when we are in Florida for the month of March. I will try it, but I'm with the others about not finishing a book if you don't like it.

  7. I was like that with War and Peace. YAAAAAAWWWWNNN. Never finished it. No regrets about that.

  8. So many books, so little time. Jettison the book, girlie - why spend your free time slogging through something you don't enjoy?

    I read most of the first bunch of Oprah's books because they took me out of my comfort zone. I LOVED "She's Come Undone" and "Stones in the River," liked a few others, and eh on the rest. I gave up when I noticed that, as you said, they are "of a type."

    I read what entertains me...serendipitously, I learn a lot in the process.

  9. Not that I would take the advice, but there are too man good books out there waiting to waste your time on the boring ones. I would be compelled to finish what I'd started. Don't be like me. Rise above the OCD. Oprah (and her craptacular book selections) are not on my list of "Yay!" anywhere.

  10. Don't worry, this Bumble-girl also gave up on the super-boring book. I'm basically going to book club for the night out and conversation. :)

  11. This book did NOTHING for me. I made it to the end because I kept thinking it would get better. It didn't.

    I had a hard time buying the uncle and the stupidity of the mother.

  12. You are so disciplined. I give a book 100 pages. If it doesn't grab me by then, I'm done. And I lead a bookclub (more of a wine and gossip club to be honest). Are you so not impressed?

    I have liked about half of Oprah's books. Sounds like I should skip this one.

  13. As an English teacher, I too agree, don't read the book! I have tried to read "Wicked" three different time and each time I just have to say NO MORE. There is so much out that to read that you would enjoy.

  14. I suspect this just might be the one where you jump to the end and read the last two chapters...can you say "Smila's Sense of Snow?"

    Caught up on your last few blogs and very happy you got your Wavemaster, that Mr. T is seizure free so far, and just to say, I HEART those little prints by your front door! The metal container for found items is primo, too.

  15. Bail on it. Abandon it. Let it go.

    I actually enjoyed the first 500 pages and was royally pissed off by the last 60. The other Goodreads reviews espouse a similar sentiment.

    Sometimes Oprah really whiffs one.


Spill it, reader.