Monday, September 7, 2009

The Woman Who Walked into Doors

I'm usually a compulsive finisher of books. Once I start reading, I can't stop. It may take me months to finish a book that I'm not enjoying, but I will finish it. This compulsion doesn't carry over into other parts of my life. I can start and stop projects, cleaning house, and doing laundry with ease. I have no problem turning off a movie part way through. But I can't seem to stop with books. I mentioned this in my post about The Wizard's Daughter. The book was awful, but I powered through. Then read this article, In Praise of Books Half-Read. And I decided to stop the madness. I had started a book called The Woman Who Walked into Doors by Roddy Doyle. It is one of the books covered in The Reading Group. It's about a woman who is beaten by her husband. When I picked it up, I was excited to note a quote from J.K. Rowling on the cover: "The most remarkable book...I do think he's a genius." Wrong wrong wrong. He's an idiot who can't write worth crap. I could make myself finish this trash, or I could enjoy reading The Phantom Tollbooth. I'm choosing to give up my compulsion and stop reading this book. Doyle clearly is incapable of writing from a woman's perspective. I cannot believe any woman could read this and think he did a good job, although Rowling apparently does. I've never met a woman who talked this the narrator, or thought like her. She sounds like a man trying to write like a woman, not like an actual woman. It's also written in a stream of consciousness style, which I hate anyway, but he uses it very ineffectively. He seems to write that way because it requires less effort and is an excuse for sloppy writing and story development. In the 40 pages I read, most of the focus is on the woman thinking back to being in school. She seems to blame everything on the fact that she was put into the second to lowest class in secondary school. She had no chance after that. She became tough and hardened and the teacher was terrible so she didn't learn anything and she gave a boy a hand job during class. Which is really disgusting and is when I decided to give up on this one. I imagine if I continued, I would eventually see her being beat by her husband (I know that happens from the book club book), but would see how it is all the school system's fault. Perhaps if I were British this book would make more sense to me, but it was just terrible.

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