Monday, March 28, 2011

Back After a Long Weekend...

Sorry for my very extended blogging absence of two days (gasp!) but it could not be helped I assure you. I had a very long weekend of birthday celebrations and I simply had no time (or the proper brain capacity) to compose a thoughtful post.

But I’m back now!

I did finally get a chance to finish the book that has been taunting me for over a week however: All the King’s Men by Robert Penn Warren.

I’ve written a bit about this one already and I plan on writing a full review later this week but I just have to get a bit off my chest now. I’m irritated. It had a lot of potential and in the first 200 pages I really thought it could be a 5 star book. I was excited. But then in the middle it really started to drag and as a result I started reading slower and slower and the book ended up taking much longer than usual to finish. It wasn’t a bad book at all, I just think it could’ve been much better than it was.

It reminded me of Oscar Wilde’s novel The Picture of Dorian Gray. I don’t know if you all remember my review or not but it was going along great when Wilde decided to insert a chapter that, in my opinion, was completely irrelevant to the story and slowed the reading pace to almost a complete halt.
Why do author’s do this? Someone told me that in Wilde’s case his publishers requested that he lengthen the book, but I don’t actually know if that was the case. But really to me it seems like the author is writing about one subject but wanted to get in something of a totally different subject in the SAME book. But it is as if they didn’t want to take the time to write a whole other book on that other subject so they just wanted to find somewhere in the book they were already writing and kind of insert it. The end result is annoyance (or at least it is for me!) and a much lower star rating come review time.

Has this happened to any of you? What book(s)?

Oh, and the most important question of all, did you miss me?


Anonymous said...

Of course we missed you!!

Also getting ready for SHELFARI Hardy questions.

Haven't read this title, and I read Dorian so long ago, I don't remember the dragging, but for me, Emma was a total drag. Such a total disappointment. Couldn't finish reading it. I may have just been Austen-ed out.

Red said...

I wouldn't be too surprised if an author does suddenly come up with a new topic but doesn't want to start a whole new book to cover this small subject so they just wedge it in where they can.

Of course when I'm trying to think of it, I can't come up with a book that's done this. But I know I've definitely come up against it.

llevinso said...

@Jenny, totally excited about the Hardy discussion! I’m busy trying to figure out which author to feature next. I have a couple ideas…

@ Red, yeah I know it’s definitely happened with more books for me but Dorian was the only recent one that sprang to mind.

Stephanie M. Hasty said...

i think that authors do this for two reasons
1] they run out of things to say and think that they have to have a 'certain' number of pages.
2] they feel that these points are important and so do their editors :P

please don't hurt me, but this is STILL how i feel about the beginning of _jane eyre_...i almost stopped reading, it was so boring and i don't see the point. bronte could have told us all of that in like 10 pages...and, why do we even have helen and why does helen have to die? blar! but, the rest of the book is fantastic! :D

llevinso said...

I do see what you’re saying Steph, but I see it as very important character development for Jane. It makes her truly a loner, which is necessary, and shapes how she sees the people around her. I too felt when I was reading that part at first that it was a tad dull and unnecessary, but when I got to the rest of the book I understood it more. When I read it again I hope to pay more attention to the beginning.

I’m sure some people feel the same way I feel about that part of Jane Eyre about the parts I found horribly in All the King’s Men and Dorian Gray.