Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Slow Man

I wanted to like the book. I tried to like the book. It had come recommended by Bonnie, who is seldom wrong about book. She liked it a lot. I didn't.
. . . .
The premise is interesting enough, and I did like the first couple of chapters. A sixtyish-year-old man riding a bicycle is hit by a car in the very first sentence. As a result of the accident, he loses a leg. The opening part about the accident is captivating. The time spent in hospital and the early part of his at-home recovery is also interesting. But with the entry into the story and into Paul's life of one Elizabeth Costello, I started to lose interest.
. . . .
Unlike many people who lose a limb, Paul rejects the idea of a prosthesis, preferring to hop about his daily life relying on crutches. The hospital equivalent of social services (the book is set in Australia) provides him an in-home helper who doesn't work out. After a couple more mismatches, Marijana is sent and Paul finds himself falling in love with her and becoming inappropriately involved with her family.
. . . .
This is the first Coetzee novel I've read, and to be fair, I suspect if I'd read his earlier work, particularly Elizabeth Costello, I wouldn't have given up. But it wasn't clear to me how this woman came to intrude on his life, why he put up with her, or -- indeed -- whether she and her prescriptions are real or fantasy. Reviewers liked the book. I found it to be a peculiar juxtaposition of excellent writing and a story that just didn't captivate. I gave up midway.

4 comments:

anne bebbington said...

I hate giving up on books part way through - but sometimes for the sake of your own sanity you just have to do it and use your precious time on something more fulfilling - I'm a big fan of Sebastian Faulkes but I had to give up on his latest about early psychiatry - turgidly boring is the best I could give it!

Niki said...

You know I've given up on so many books part way through. I love to read, but if the book doesn't keep my attention I just always get bored. bad bad. LOL. Thanks for the review and honest comments. I found you thru the Q4P blogring! hello fello quilt blogger :) Niki

Nana's Quilts said...

Nancy Pearl (Book Lust author) says to subtract your age from 100. That number is the number of pages you should read of any given book. If it doesn't totally 'grab you' by then, put it down. There are too many good books in the world to waste your time with some. I have been using that philosophy and have found myself enjoying some great books and putting down several.

The Shower of Stoles was in town last week-end and it was most moving. Hope you can see it.

Happy vacation. We are headed to Glacier National Park - never been there but am really looking forward to it.
Marne

Gypsy Quilter said...

Hi Nancy, I would recommend that go on line to the manufacturer site and find the code numbers of the particular fabric you want. Then call 1-800-MaryJos. The store in Gastonia SC is the size of a super Wal-Mart (or darn close). Their prices are terrific (usually under 6.00 a yard). Talk to their "calico dept" and see if they have it. Then talk to their mail order dept and tell them how much you want. You'll have it in a week.