Three Mini Book Reviews

I am way behind on my book reviews and just my blogging in general.  Can you tell?  Luckily with an added day in my weekend I might finally catch up.  So I apologize for the double posts.  A couple of these are just quick DNF reviews.  I just wanted to note down something about them in case they come up again later- writing the reviews helps me remember the book

Quichotte by Salman Rushdie

This was a DNF for me so I’m not going to rate it.  This was my first experience with Rushdie, and while I think he’s a talented writer, his style is just not for me.

Quichotte is a retelling of Don Quixote, about a lonely pharmaceutical salesman who imagines a son into existence.  The son’s imagined mother is a soap opera star, who’s never met Quichotte in her life.

The story actually was starting to get interesting at about the time I quit, and I think in any other year, when I hadn’t already been so frustrated by my reading, I would have continued.  But Quichotte has the misfortune of coming after already having read two McCarthy books, and while this topic isn’t nearly as dark as anything McCarthy’s put out, their styles are very similar.  These sentences just run on and on and on…

To the point where I’d have to reread the sentence or paragraph to pull out the meaning.  The chapters are also very long, and the first six or seven chapters all introduce a new POV.  I just wasn’t in the mood for this kind of story.  As I said, it was starting to get interesting when I stopped, but with how busy I am I couldn’t make myself focus enough to read it quickly and I had other things I would rather have been reading.  So I quit.

I made it to about page 100 before I stopped.  I might pick it up again someday when I am in the mood.  Thank you to the publisher who sent an ARC in exchange for review.  Quichotte can be found on GoodReads and Amazon.

The Outside by Ada Hoffman

This book and I were not a match right from the start.  I think somewhere on the first page it mentions that AI are treated as gods in this world.  I just really hate that premise. I know I’m going to come off as naive here, in our increasingly connected world, but couldn’t you just unplug the damn thing?  Doesn’t an AI that big need a warehouse full of servers?  Maybe not in the future I guess.  I don’t know.

Either way, there has to be some agreement on the part of humans to worship such an entity, and it just isn’t something I can relate to.

Adding to that was dialogue that I felt was very stiff and awkward, and characters and a story I just wasn’t being grabbed by.  This was a group read for the Sci Fi Fantasy Book Club, so I was able to spoil the book for myself and see if it was something worth continuing.  **SPOILERS**  In doing so, I learned that the book eventually goes on to discuss self harming cults of AI worshippers, another big fat NOPE from me.  (See my review of Ancestral Night.)

It gets points for being a neurodiverse #ownvoices book, and if Hoffman goes on to write more, I’d happily give her another try.  This particular book was just all wrong for me, but if it sounds like something you might enjoy, you can find it on GoodReads or Amazon.

Alone by Chaboute

Rating:  ★★★★

This is a graphic novel I heard about a year or two ago, that I recently discovered sitting on the shelves of a library that’s out of my way and don’t often go to.  Whichever review I saw spoke very highly of it.

The story itself is really sad, about a person living all alone in a lighthouse, because his parents, now deceased, once warned him the world would not be kind to a man who looked like him (he has physical deformities).  He spends his days dropping the dictionary open, reading definitions, and imagining himself in scenarios related to the word he opened to.  He goes through periods where he is seemingly okay with his life, and periods of depression and sadness.

Although the story seems terribly depressing, it is a story full of hope, and one I think everyone who’s ever been lonely, or down on themselves, could relate to.  My only real complaint here is that I wished at least some of the artwork had been done in color.

While I think the black and white art was adding to the bleakness and the tone of the book, part of the appeal of reading a graphic novel is seeing all the bright colors and pretty pictures.  And while they were well drawn, telling this story predominantly through pictures and almost no words, I found myself wishing for a little color.

Alone can be found on GoodReads and Amazon.

17 thoughts on “Three Mini Book Reviews

  1. Oh, sorry to hear these books were such a bummer for you! But the graphic novel looks indeed very interesting, though I’m always more inclined to read color comics, the magpie in me just loves lavish illustrations 😉

    Liked by 1 person

    • It was less to do with the book (The Outside) so much as the content- if that makes sense. The dialogue had evened out a bit, but I just had a really negative reaction to those first few pages, and it kind of set the tone for me not enjoying the rest of it. I think I read through 17% or so.


  2. I didn’t notice you being behind at all! I am always behind myself even though I don’t miss posting that often, I think I also just like to be way ahead instead of coming in right at the wire haha.
    Sorry that some of these didn’t work out for you!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Oops! I am so sorry you had to dnf two of these Sarah! Especially when the Rushdie one’s cover is soo fucking gorgeous! 😭😭😭 Such a disappointment!

    And hey I have seen Alone on Amazon! I think its in my cart and now I am motivated to buy it! 😍😍

    Lovely reviews, as always, Sarah! ❤️💕🌟🌟

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Pingback: Once Again Tagged by AK of Everything is Bad for You | Extra Life

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