Sunday, December 30, 2012

Discarded: Pygmy and The Darlings

Rarely do I ever take the time to write about books I've discarded, but this time, I'm making an exception, especially since Penguin sent me a copy of The Darlings for review.

It's not like these books are terribly written, or lack creativity - it's just that they aren't for me.

If you've read either of these titles and disagree with me, share your thoughts in the comments section at the bottom of this post!

Pygmy by Chuck Palahniuk

I've always been a huge fan of Palahniuk. I never got around to reading Fight Club (enjoyed the movie!), but devoured and loved Survivor, Invisible Monsters, Choke, Lullaby, Diary, and Haunted. I'm still working my way through his later titles.

Pygmy is pretty gritty and hardcore. It's narrated in first person by an unnamed "Agent number 67," a young man whose mission is to blend in as an exchange student in America, while carrying out a major act of terrorism. Seasoned Palahniuk readers should recognize that this plot theme is more or less redundant with the plots in some of his other novels. Sounds good so far, right? Sounds great to me! Only I couldn't understand what the fuck was going on in this book because the NARRATIVE IS TERRIBLE.

As I write this, I open to a random page in the book, close my eyes, and point to a sentence. Here's what it says: "All must sing nonsense or no allowed college, no advanced physics and training. Force compelled to sing how yearning for location on top arched spectrum of light wavelengths created by precipitate." WTF?!

And this is pretty much how every sentence in the book reads. I'm too exhausted at the end of the day to make sense of this. Moving on.

The Darlings by Cristina Alger

This debut has an intriguing synopsis: A finance guy marries into a wealthy New York family, then a tragedy "catapults" the family into an investigation and scandal. The finance guy then has to decide "where his loyalties lie."

So I'm thinking this novel is going to be one of those unforgettable pieces of literature with a clever twist that I won't be able to put down. Nearly every major news publication has reviewed The Darlings. However, the finance aspect kept putting me to sleep. I couldn't even make it through the first 50 pages of this book (which is normally my threshold with any book I have impending dislike for).

This book will probably be a major hit with finance geeks, or those who actually have a valid interest in finance. Even the New York elitist tone of this book takes a backseat to finance (at least for those first 50 pages, anyway). I think my disdain for finance, and corporate America in general put me off this one.

Have you discarded any books recently? If so, what were they, and why did you give up? Share with us in the comments section below!

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