Sunday, August 29, 2010

At least the title was good

I'm Irish (like I don't wear that on my sleeve) hence I'm morbid.  It's just in the blood.  The running joke in my family, for instance, is that no party is complete without my mom's "untimely and tragic" story.  There needs to be at least one for the "Opa!" effect.

So really, what should I've expected when I read a novel by an Irish 23 year old?  A series of untimely and tragic events, of course.  But I didn't expect that.  I expected the book to be just as wonderful and moving as the movie P.S. I Love You.  (I don't even really like movies, let alone get effected by them.  During ps I love you I was streaming tears the entire time.  I'm not sure if pregnancy hormones had anything to do with it, but I'm not willing to take the risk that it wasn't.)   The cover of the book says that it's by the same author.  Which should've been my second red flag.  If you like a movie so so much, chances are the book can't live up to the movie.  And isn't it always a shame when you read the book then watch the movie?  ( I hear Eat, Pray, Love is exceptional.)

and And that was the only credit that the book cover gave to this book.  No New York Times reviews.  No reviews at all, really.  No preface (not that a book needs them, because frankly, I never read them.  Although I always realize in retrospect that I should've read the preface.  This happens every single time.)

So.  With all that being said, I need to say one more thing.  I never thought that I'd be the type of person that would write a bad review on a book.  It is someone's piece of art, after all, and who am I to slander that?  Why would I deter someone else from reading it?  (especially since it's just a depressing novel?)  I have no answers to that question other than I can't believe I wasted 450 pages (but only 3 days, if I might add) to read it.

It was series after series of missed meetings with the true other.  And then when they're fifty and divorced and baby mamas and baby daddys and failures failures failure and 415 pages of FAIL they decide "oh my true love!  We've been "best friends" (let's face it you can't have the opposite sex be your best friend through marriages et cetera et cetera) since we were 5 now let's get mawwwwied even though your post menopausal and we have a combined three children in three different countries.  AND you're a successful doctor who only cares about work and YOU'RE always bitching about being a single mother and the manager of a hotel who didn't even pass health dept regulations."  And you're attracted to each other why?

There is one thing I was impressed with, however.  Apart from the epilogue, the whole book was written via letters, emails, Instant messages.  But when I think back about the story, the times and places of events are very clear.  That is the one and only thing that I would describe as "talent" or literal "piece of work."  But boyy, was this book a piece of work.

I also like the Title (main character's name) Rosie Dunne.  Who wouldn't want to be named that?  And I liked reading it in my own version of an Irish brogue.  That was the one thing that kept me from scratchimg my eyes out.

So if you're ever in the mood to read a very frustrating story that uses phrases like "gone mental" and "demented" and every 150 pages mentions a drag queen named "Miss Behave" to jazz the story up, this is definitely the book for you.

But clearly, I don't want to talk about it, so keep it to yourself.

I'm off to read about training my puppy, for a dose (or more) of reality.


  1. Yikes. Based on your review, I will stay far, far away from this one. Thanks for sparing me of that! And you are not alone with the "PS I Love You" tears. I was a sap during and after that movie. It was a lighter version of "The Notebook" but I thoroughly enjoyed it.

  2. This is EXACTLY how I feel about Phillipa Gregory's "The White Queen" that I'm reading right now. I read her book, "The Other Boleyn Girl" and LOVED it. This is making me CRAZY. I try to always finish a book and like you, if I don't love it, I try not to talk about it...especially because someone else may love it. But I'm not sure I will even finish this one. Plus, I'm itchin' to start Jen Lancaster's new one. At least you only wasted 3 days of your life. That's fairly the grand scheme of things. ;)

  3. i do like the whole letters, emails, instant messages thing. like the bridget jones thing was all diary entries. it keeps my attention better. i do not pretend to be the literary intellect type. i like my books easy to understand and smutty. but this book sounds a smidgen exhausting. i mean, i think at the end i would have thrown it.

  4. I remember a story about your mom coming into the room, tears streaming down her cheeks as she said, " I just read the best book..."A Grief Unveiled":)