I can’t really write about the stuff that’s in my head today, so I’ll harumph about the horrible book I’m reading instead. I won’t name the book. I have no cause to slam the author even though I can’t believe this book got published. It is about a bunch of women, 40-something and up, who travel around the country scattering a friend’s ashes in various places, including Lake Superior. Of all places.
A disclaimer: blahg or no blahg, I am an amateur writer who really doesn’t have any business critiquing somebody else’s book. I have a music degree. Flute to be exact. Yes, I have heard of Jethro Tull but that’s a whole ‘nother rant, filed under “bad pickup lines” maybe. So, I have no writing credentials but, I’m sorry, this is just a bad book.
Editing? Proof-reading? We are told at length about a woman who sits in a special spot every evening after the dinner dishes are done and looks at a tree while reflecting upon life, the universe and everything. You know the drill. Except that two pages later we are told that after one of these sessions with the tree, she goes downstairs to help get dinner ready. Do they eat dinner twice every night?
Bad writing. The women arrive in the New Mexican desert and are totally blown away by the scenery. Yes, you read that right, they are blown away. I don’t know where they are blown to but this is what they say about their dead friend: “The view would have blown her away. She would have dropped to one knee, then to the other, and she would have been breathless for a while.” Hmmm. I can think of a couple of scenic events that might’ve brought me to my knees (or more likely they would’ve knocked me on my butt) and sucked the breath out of me. Had I been there, that is. Mount St. Helen blowing up? Yeah, that could’ve done it. Or maybe when the turret fell off of Miner’s Castle this spring? That would’ve been exciting. Walking out into a desert? I doubt it. Well, unless a rattlesnake was there to meet me.
Generally weird incomprehensible stuff: one of the women says about another that “she wants to run with her naked through a women’s festival and a dozen cities.” Say what??? I won’t bother to divulge the context surrounding this incredible statement because it doesn’t help it make any sense.
Maudlin? The book is heavily laced with tears and grief and elaborate pronouncements about friends and family dying and how you should feel. In a little over a year, I have lost my brother and my dad and a good friend and other people who were close to family members have died. I don’t quite know how to feel. Tears? Yes, sometimes. Detached? Yeah, a lot of the time. Words to describe it all? Usually I do not have any. Get on with life? Of course. What other choice is there? Kee-reist.
Why the heck am I still reading this awful book? grok grok. Yeah you should read Froggy Gets Dressed or The Cat Family Book or Mummies Made In Egypt (grok grok, brains pulled out through nostrils with metal hooks, mmm…) grok grok. Shut up, Froogggy! I am reading it because it is so bad it is funny! That’s why.
With my luck, some Hollywood producer will pick up on it and make the worst (and most successful) chick flick in history.