Wednesday, July 23, 2008

I did it!

I finally finished. I can't remember the last time that it took me so long to read 336 pages. Why did it take so long you might ask?
Was it work? Well I have been extraordinarily busy at work but this is not the first time and I usually still fit reading in.
Was it because you lost the book? No I carried it around with me.
Was it because you sustained an unfortunate eye injury? Nope I managed to keep sharp objects away from my face.
Then what was it?

I will explain. Let's flashback to high school English class. In a normal story (fiction or nonfiction) you have a story arc... introduction - conflict/plot - resolution. This is what makes up a story. Now there are many great works of literature that have tried to escape this convention, where a writer writes for the sake of writing. But you can even boil away On the Road or The Sound and the Fury and find the elements of a story arc. Ok end of class.

Here is why I think I disliked this book so is all introduction. Sure there are a few conflicts here and there...did her mom try to stab them, did her mom shoot Hector, etc. But she shies away from digging into the situations. I realize that she was young, 6-8, in these years but my advice is write about something you remember, not vaguely remember.

But what is even more irritating about the book is that there is no resolution/redemption in the end. Things that were intriguing: her adolescence, college years, step siblings, were glossed over. I feel like she got tired of writing her life story and I know I was definitely tired of reading it. In the end I had the same feelings towards everyone in the book as I did in the beginning...they are a selfish, drunk, unsympathetic family that I didn't need to know.

I have read a lot of memoirs and can off the top of my head come up with several that were better than this one. I think I might need to research if the publisher is a parent of EW and that might be the answer :)

My picks would be This Boys Life by Tobais Wolff or Keeper of the Moon by Tim McLaurin. Check it out if you are in the market for a childhood memoir but don't waste your time on The Liars' Club. I promise I am telling the truth.

Can you give negative stars when you rate?


Jen said...

I thank you sister for sparing me more time wasted in my life. I got through 2/3 of the book and just didn't have the will/desire to pick it up again. I hate leaving things unfinished, but in this case, I'll make an exception.

On to the Twilight series!

Babsy said...

This is why I didn't like the X-files...I need closure.

mimi said...

Jana, you are such a brainiac. I must have read a lot when I was pregnant with you.....but who remembers that. Wait a minute! I think I just had an epiphany. TV shows were much more intellectual in the 70's, more like taking in good literature, so that must be it! Ahahaha, it was worth a try.....