2020/05/08

Da Goddess @ 00:49

I’d like to take this moment to say, “fuck you, Lucy Ellmann. Fuck you very much.” This is the first time it’s ever taken me a week to read 42 pages of a book I don’t actively loathe.

Ducks, Newburyport is 998 pages long and I’m only on page 49. It’s taken me a week – a W.E.E.K. – to get that far in. And I’m a speedy reader. Not Evelyn Wood fast, but pretty damn fast. And this is an excruciatingly slow fucking read. 98% of the book is one long run on sentence, which stops being a clever storytelling device about 1.5 pages in. Rather, it becomes a tedious method for driving the reader mad with unnecessary nonsense in the middle of what seems to be a decent story. Instead of allowing the readers to easily keep track of characters and plot, we’re forced to assemble the pertinent details from an overworked stream of consciousness blather that truly detracts from the essence of the tale.

I’ve stopped all other reading, set aside puzzle books, kept Netflix off, just to focus on forty-fucking-nine pages. And I’m made about it. Angry. ANGRY. It makes me wonder how the book was shortlisted for the Booker prize.

You know those comedians who run with any irritating joke to the point where it becomes painful and then keep on with it until it becomes kind of funny? That isn’t happening here in book form. Knowing I still have 949 pages left of this only makes me want to waterboard the author. If your story doesn’t allow the reader to come up for a breath of fresh air, you’re going to have bodies strewn across the country – nay, the WORLD – from asphyxia and your readership is going to dwindle. To the publisher, I must say this, “you made a big mistake. HUUUGE.”

Honestly, if not for the fact that I’ve invested actual hard-earned money on this book, I’d have chucked it into a fire or offered to sell it for toilet paper.

And here’s another thing: if your story isn’t strong enough to stand on its own, without this exhausting nonsense with which to prop it, then perhaps the author and publisher ought to take a step back and examine their entire lives and ask themselves where they went so very wrong. What led them to thinking this was a good choice? And what led the Booker prize committee to shortlist this work of drudgery? Is the fact that this massive run on sentence of a book really that innovative? Did they actually enjoy the read? I can’t believe they found this enjoyable.

As I previously mentioned, the bit of the story I’ve “extruded” (that was a deliberate jab at the author, dear reader) hasn’t been bad, just exhausting. I feel I deserve better than this. If I hadn’t splashed out the cash for it, I’d have quit reading and made a fortune selling the pages for toilet paper. Really, I would have. Still might if I finish before the quarantine is over. I guess I just found my motivation.

1 Comment

  1. You’re a better reader than I; the book would’ve been in the trash mid way through if I were having a go.

    Comment by pam — 2020/05/09 @ 08:08

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