Monday, October 02, 2017

When is a book too long?

I just finished reading American Wife by Curtis Sittenfeld. It's a fictionalised account of Laura Bush's life. I bought it on the spur of the moment in Waterstone's, having never heard of it before. This is something I never do.  I also never buy novels that are more than 400 pages long, and this is 636. What was going on? It looked intriguing, it had great reviews on the back, and the writing inside was top notch.

Well... it was well written and I enjoyed it up to 350 pages and then I flagged. I kept going back to it and reading more, but there was so much flab to work though it became tedious, and there were bits that were easily skippable. However, the book is very well written - it just needed pruning - and it's an interesting study of how much someone will compromise because of love, which is a topic that I've been wrestling with the whole of my life, and which is one of the subjects tackled in But I Told You Last Year That I Loved You. The book also looks at personal responsibility in both  private and public spheres.

So now I need another novel to read - a short one. Any suggestions? No sci-fi, fantasy, magic realism or fluff, and nothing with graphic violence either. As Frasier says - "I'm listening..."

1 comment:

Sue Hepworth said...

There is a comment on this post from Phoebe, but for some reason it appears on the earlier post called 'Leaves.'