Thursday, June 05, 2008

XX. "Beautiful Children" - Charles Bock

I heard Charles Bock on NPR while he was touring for this book. His descriptions of the amount of research that it took to write this novel was impressive, and I thought that I needed to read it as soon as my fantastic librarians could dig it up for me. (I'm horribly lazy and they are wonderfully cooperative.)

From the first ten pages, I knew that I couldn't read it. Not after this fantastic run of good books. No way. I would not be able to be objective; or, it simply didn't live up to my expectations of language now.

Eventually, I'll have to read a less than stellar book and review it. But, right now, my mind pleads, "Not yet! It's summer... indulge yourself."


Anonymous said...

You should give that book a chance. With all due respect, you are wrong about it. It's a hell of a novel, and as far as language is concerned, he uses it in different ways at different points of the book — including some serious blasts of wonderful lyricism and all kinds of good stuff.

Here's a link to a review that I read which made me interested in reading the novel (and I'm glad I did).

Kristin Dodge said...

I always listen to my readers... it's back on the to-read-at-some-point pile.

Jason said...

Hey, Dodge. That gets me wondering. Is there a book that you've tried and given up on, and that you were so repulsed by, that no reader appeal could prompt you to try again?

Just curious. Mostly because I'm not sure I've ever come across something so bad I'd never give it a second chance.

Kristin Dodge said...

"American Psycho" immediately comes to mind. I had the stomach flu while reading it. Between that and the graphic violence, I just can't go back and read it without feeling ill.

Otherwise, I have gone back to books and realized that I still wasn't ready to read them or would never like them, but not in a "repulsive" way, as you mention.

What are you reading, nowadays?

Jason said...

I have a bunch of ambitious books on my "to read" shelf that I've been avoiding, in the interest of having some mental energy for writing. So instead I've been reading a bunch of genre fiction in preparation of jettisoning it at the used book store.

I might wade into Philip Roth's Operation Shylock soon, though.