Tuesday, July 19, 2011


This list is mostly a matter of taste,  but the books all either met with much acclaim and/or were from authors I've enjoyed and admired, and were certainly a let-down.   I think disappointed would mostly be more apt than dissatisfied.

Koontz, always a favorite, must oddly enough claim one of the threeWORST of all time ---Winter Moon.   Dull and contrived, Gross and YUKKY.   Tossed it and pushed the coffee grounds right down on top. 

Joseph Heller’s Something Happened---nothing did.   Blah-Blah-Blah, in every sense.   Tossed

The Lovely Bones   Alice Sebold       After months of hoopla and hurrah, I gave in and tried this one.    I simply could not get more than thirty pages into it, not all of which had to do with subject matter.   I skipped along a bit, encountered one of those “I know he killed someone; he might hear me, he might GET me, but I’m sneaking into his house alone, anyway,with nobody knowing where I AM” mentalities which have been done to down-the-dark-stairs-with-a-candle death.    I gave up and returned it to the libary as soon as possible.     Just couldn’t do it.   (Nor the movie).   

Mailer’s Ancient Evenings        Yawn, and EEEEW.   Almost tossed, but it was a huge hardback, so I gave it to the library.  Just not my taste. 

Any book by Ayn Rand---I can forgive and stick with Ponderous, but Pompous makes even ME throw books.   

Gone with the Wind falls on neither list.   It has scope and breadth, but surely Mrs. Mitchell didn’t mean to write such a sweeping, touching, grand novel about so many ninnies.   I cannot think why she’d portray chivalrous, valiant men and brave women as such simpering fools.    How did she expect them to find their shoes, let alone fight a WAR, with such expectations and mannerisms?   And on the MEN---those silly simperings and  rich folks' awww shucks, ma'am groveling-for-attention-from-Scarlett should have sent her scurrying her hoopskirts up the nearest tree.

Rhett, Melanie, Mammy, Belle Watling and Ellen O'Hara seemed to be the only sensible ones in the lot, most of the time, and the latter two rated so little page-time as to be mere glimpses.

If she patterned any of the characters on real people, I can only hope that it was but the upper-class, plantation-owning social set which could succumb to such affectations---No WAY did any of my Southern-for-two-and-a-half-centuries, callus-handed, hard-working, humble forebears ever simper, lady OR gentleman.    I promise.


Tonja said...

Don't know all of these, but I agree with your assessment of Gone...

Now, THE LOVELY BONES, I actually liked. Which surprised me. I am one who can not even watch things on TV when I know someone is going to come to an 'unfortunate end'. But, this had an oddly peaceful effect on me. And, I never felt 'threatened' as I do while watching a movie or TV. It was also comforting knowing that the murderer was caught. It is very hard to explain, but I did like it. Did NOT see the movie, though. The book was enough.

Here's two...you must read, if you haven't. 'THE HELP' and 'ROOM'.
Both excellent! I'll find the authors should you need me to.

Southern Lady said...

Oh, yes, Rachel ... by all means read "The Help!" You will love it. I haven't read "Room," but will certainly look for it.

I tried to listen to the audio book of "Eat, Pray, Love," and it was the most BORING book I've ever tried to listen to, and that includes Daniel Steel's books.

GWTW is a classic and I love it BECAUSE of that, I guess ... but I agree, Scarlett was shallow and Ashley was, indeed, a "simpering fool."

Kim Shook said...

“It has scope and breadth, but surely Mrs. Mitchell didn’t mean to write such a sweeping, touching, grand novel about so many ninnies.” Best. review. ever. I positively HOOTED, my dear!

Voracious reader that I am, I’ve read LOTS of stinkers, but the one that sticks out the most was ‘The Corrections’. That book was so bad that I got ANGRY at it. It won a bazillion awards and was shortlisted as God’s favorite book, or something. I heard about it on Oprah. She rhapsodized over it so much that I actually went out and spent something like $25 on it brand new in hardcover. I HATED it – I hated the people, the story, the talking poop (not kidding about that). I later read that it was supposed to be funny. Gah.

Maggie McArthur said...

Well, I'm a Northern Girl myself, but a huge GWTW fan. I agree with your list of the sensible characters, but, oddly, can't remember any of the antebellum aristocrats actually simpering -- maybe a couple of debutantes. They postured,they flirted,they ignored the fact that their time had come, were racist, and on and on. But "simpering" isn't quite the right adjective for me. Fools, for sure.