Friday, July 25, 2008

Stuff I Don't Love

Girls of Riyadh: a novel, by Rajaa Alsanea. This was a fairly good book that offered a good deal of insight into this culture I don't have much experience with. There was a little bit lacking in the writing style, I felt, but it isn't clear if that is because the author is young (25), because the work is a translation (originally published in Arabic in Lebanon), or some other reason. It was often difficult to tell how much time had passed, and it's rarely clear how old the characters actually are. The novel delivers and excellent feel for the culture without really giving the reader a sense of place. (Of course, that just may be because I have no idea about the region, but I didn't get that feeling.) 

Artichoke's Heart, by Suzanne Supplee. Ask me why I quit after a mere handful of chapters and I will tell you that it is because the main character, who sounds like she is at least 35 years old, claims to be 15 and in high school. I would have a hard time reading a book in which the character doesn't know herself. 

Misspelled, edited by Julie E. Czerneda. I finished about half of these stories, and can't say I liked any of them. It is not so much a compilation of well-written stories that happen to be around a common theme, and more a writing exercise, which employs writers of dubious quality. Poo.


Ms. Yingling said...

It was good to know you didn't love Artichoke's Heart. The title and the cover art were conflicting, and I haven't gotten hold of a copy, but it's always good to have company if I don't like something!

sarah said...

Ms. Yingling-
Thanks for the comment and glad I could help. I was drawn in by the back of the book blurb and thought we might actually be in for something insightful; this was obviously not the case. But if you decide to read it and feel differently about it, let me know!