Monday, March 15, 2010

Book Review-The Story of Edgar Sawtelle

I wanted to like this...I really truly did and I kind of do, sort of.  Let me explain.  The back story:  I came across this book the way I usually find new books to read through The Book Page, a literary magazine my library gives away for free.  Every time I pick up a copy of that magazine it seems I have four or five more "to reads" on my list.  Ask Melissa she often takes cues from what I've added (although I can't explain that since she's the librarian and it should be me taking cues from her "to read" list)....but I digress.  So needless to say I found this book through Book Page and it sounded interesting (nevermind that it found it's way onto Oprah's book club list).  I should have known once I saw on the book cover who recommended it.....Maya Angelou aside every book I've bothered to read (or should I say waste time reading) that Oprah has recommended-SUCKED.

I check it out..I read some of it.  I find the story interesting, the writer's style incredibly laborious.  It was work to read through the first 50 pages.  That's all I got through after having it for a month and renewing it once.  Returned!  But it stayed with me, so like a glutton I checked it out again.  And again I found myself dreading wanting to work to read it.  I enjoyed the story, the characters (it was about dogs for one and a boy with special needs for another).  But the work I had to put into it-EGADS!  I managed to get to page 270 after once again having it for a month and renewing it again.  Returned!

I have yet to decide if checking it out a third time would even be worth the effort it would take to finish it seeing as though even at page 270 I'm still only half way through it!  Thoughts?  Anyone read this all the way through and liked it?  I hate to go off of the star rating since I find I often disagree with people's reviews or star ratings.


E.B. Loan said...

I felt that way about the Historian. I loved it and hated it all at once. I loved the idea of it--hunting vampires through history. It made some very interesting points about how fiction & reality collide. was Loooong & there were whole sections I could have skipped right through.
Was it worth it to finish it? Yes, for me. But then again...I never turn down a challenge or commit w/out finishing. That's my neurosis

JaL said...

I used to be so committed to finishing anything I read...but as I get older I realize there are other books so much more worthy of my time and there's not enough time to read everything I have set my sights on. I usually give it a fair shake of 50 pages... this book got more than that so who knows if I'll read to the end.

Melissa said...

I felt the same way about The Historian and the book I'm currently reading now, 2666. I'm struggling through it, but determined to finish it! I hate not finishing books! I'd say if you've tried twice, give it up.

Another suggestion is trying it on an audiobook. That's how I've gotten through two of the Clan of the Cave Bear series. I love the story but I can't imagine reading through parts of it.

Good luck! I've never had an interest in reading that book. I don't often follow Oprah's suggestions, can't stand the woman!

And yes, I love getting cues off you! I do work in the library but in the children's area, so I rarely get time to peruse upstairs in the adult area!