Monday, January 28, 2013

Don't read this book!

I hate giving up on a book but a few years ago I decided that life was too short to waste it on books I didn't enjoy. I also stopped choosing books simply because I thought I should read it or because it was worthy. On the whole nowadays I choose books that look as if they will be fun.

I used to get a writing tips newsletter from an author called Andrea something and she often mentioned her partner who was also an author. She's fun and frothy so when I saw his book, The Radleys, in the library I thought I'd give it a go. I don't know if you can read the writing at the top of the book cover but it says: 'Great fun' (Vogue), 'Addictive' (Daily Mail) and 'Highly recommended' (The observer).

Yes, it's a book about vampires but abstaining vampires who live in a pleasant English suburb. Sounds like fun? That's what I thought. It's not.

It's the most depressing book I have read for ages. I have got halfway through it and I'm giving up. I persevered this long because yes, it is addictive, I want to know what happens, but I can't take any more; I'm not prepared to be disheartened by the sheerness unpleasantness of it all any more.

It's well-written and clever and I suppose it could be called life-affirming, which seems to be a popular positive attribute these days, but only in so far as it encourages being who you are, not trying to be what you're not.

But it's bleak and there isn't a single character with a redeeming feature to make you like him or her. It's just not nice. It's yucky and horrible and disturbing. And not a single laugh.

But don't be put off by my review! Out of 107 reviews on Amazon it's been given 4 out of 5 stars. If you love vampires you might like this. Or not. 

I'm moving on to my other library choice, The Good Plain Cook. Set in 1936 in rural Sussex, according to The Times it's 'Gorgeously written, full of teasing observations about love, class and cookery'

Sounds much more my cup of tea - in spite of poor reviews on Amazon. 


jams o donnell said...

Okay I'll give it a wider berth!

Betty said...

I never shy away from giving a book a bad review, and I start with, "I read this book so you won't have to." Thank you for your review warning us off of the vampire book. By the way, I just finished reading and reviewing your book, which I enjoyed very much. I'd give it 5 stars.

Liz said...

I feel guilty now, Jams! You might like it ...

Thanks so much, Betty.

James Higham said...

I'd rather read yours.

Steve Hayes said...

I like my vampires to be deathly and deadly. Life-affirming vampires sound deadly dull to me. The only vampire book I've ever enjoyed was Dracula.

Think I'll give this one a miss.

Furtheron said...

"I'm not prepared to be disheartened by the sheerness unpleasantness of it all any more."

fantastic piece of writing Liz. I know Sheerness - I've been there, I've been there on a very wet windy Jan Friday night a singularly unique and descriptive portrayal of unpleasantness.


NitWit1 said...

I have given up on books before, but not lately. Your e-book is getting a few reviews. I mentioned it earlier and one of my bloglist must have bought and read it, so today I posted a blog about it as I just finished it today while, and you may laugh, in Cardiac Rehab on the treadmill. I read parts of it to my best friend over the phone. especially your summation of the Internet dating choices.

Hope it is doing well for you. I have not checked on Amazon.

I am starting Des Miserables, a dark and depressing book, I know, but a movie was just released here in US which received several high awards.

Anne in Oxfordshire said...

I won't Liz, even the cover could not tempt me to try it .