Sunday, December 31, 2006

Unconsumed: The Able McLaughlins

It isn't often I do not finish a book. Every book worth starting is a book worth finishing, that's what I used to think. But now I don't want to waste my time with a book that is making me suffer from the start.

I'm working on the Pulitzer Prize winning novels and some of the early winners can be just turgid. Alice Adams was pretty decent, but The Able McLaughlins? Painful. I made it twenty pages in and gave up. Margeret Wilson, the author, was explaining things to me about the characters and not telling me a story. The distinction is fine and narrow, but the use of language and the characters, one of whom came home from a war, the Civil War, I think, but it was difficult to tell what era the book was set in because she seems to be telling two different stories on the same page without anything to differentiate them.

I'm sure things would come clear as the novel progressed, but Wilson lost me early on and I was done.

This is only the second Pulitzer winner which I have quit on (the other being The Age of Innocence). Shoot, I even f inished Angle of Repose...and that's a book that wanted to set me in an angle of repose.

On to Gilead!

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