Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Book Reviews

(I know I owe you a Riley is 2 post: next week, after we get back from camping!)

As I told you, I'm a ferocious reader when pregnant. I'm a pretty dedicated lover of books anyways, but when I'm pregnant it's all consuming. So I have been reading some. I managed to secure myself enough fiction for a few days! First, I read "Before I Wake," by Robert J Wiersema. He's from Victoria--and the book is set in Victoria. At first I thought, 'Neat!' I love Victoria, and there are lots of good artists and writers who live there, so this could be a treat.

A word from someone who has been there: DON'T BOTHER. OMG, this book was horrific. NOT the whole thing. Not. It started off well, which is probably why I invested my time until the bitter end, but this book turned awful about one third of the way in. I liked the main characters, they were complex and interesting, multi dimensional, easy to sympathize with, mostly easy to love, and dynamic. And then, the one dimensional church people came in. And some ghosts. And some ambiguous, mythical type Biblical characters with confusing names and the ability to make themselves visible or invisible...It just wasn't great anymore. It wasn't even good. The one dimensional religious people bug me, but their presence isn't enough to destroy a book for me. But all of it together--the off-grid, unbelievable plot, the plethora of weird ghosts and Biblical characters brought to life, along with the flat churchy people, ruined this book for me. Plus, the author did no research into how BC Ambulance operates, or radio communications (which, if you want to include them in your text, you should research what happens in the community in which your book is set), nor pediatric medical care in Victoria. There is no pediatric ICU or neurosurgery capabilities in Victoria. Kids who need those resources are flown to Children's in Vancouver. It's just irritating. The difference between good art and great art is in attention to fine detail. Cutting no corners.

[**update: there IS a pediatric ICU in Victoria--I stand corrected!! Not sure if they accomodate neurosurg, but perhaps...my apologies**]

I slogged it out to the bitter end.

And then I picked up "The Cellist of Sarajevo."

THIS was great art. I have heard of this book, written by a UBC professor. A young UBC professor. So, with being young and pretty much from this area of the world, I was a tiny bit skeptical of his ability to really do justice to the subject of his story, but he absolutely created a perfect work of art. This book was amazing, on many levels. And I loved it with passion. I highly recommend it.

xo, all


sara said...

We have a PICU, I've been there to visit a child. It's not large, but it's there. I know the author, we went to UVIC together.

I LOVE the cellist.

melissa said...

Do you? I stand corrected...

Lou and Marilyn Sawchenko said...

i also loved the cellist.