Dear Omniscient Narrator: It's not you, it's me!
|Mary Anne Evans aka George Eliot|
|Apparently they made it into a movie ...|
Here's what I learned:
1. Grade five teacher - get out of my head: Okay, maybe it was grade six when I had a teacher who said you can't judge a book unless you read the whole thing. She was adamant. Even thought I stopped agreeing with that decades ago, it still must be lodged in my grey matter somewhere because I am loath to stop reading a book. I have the right to judge a book from the first sentence on. I can stop reading if it's not a genre that interests me or if I deem it to not be well written (totally subjective). I get that she was probably trying to get us to read all of our assigned readings.
2. Omniscient narrator- we're through: It's not you, omniscient narrator, it's me. No, actually it's you. My head was spinning trying to keep up with who's pov the story was from. I have whiplash from the number of times the pov changed. Thankfully omniscient narration isn't trending. Love single or multiple pov books.
3. I need a plot: You need a plot. We. All. Need. A. Plot! Donald Maass says if you want your book to be longer add more conflict, not description. I totally get that now. Yes, pages and pages of beautifully written description and character sketches, but I needed more of a plot (or less description). Now I get the appeal of plot driven books. Readers want something to happen. I like a balance between characters I care about and plot.
4. Thank Buddha they invented editors: See #3.
5. Don't give me a sub-plot if the characters and plot points aren't crucial to the ending: Don't make me care about characters that don't need to be in the novel. I also didn't connect with any of the characters on a deep level and I blame the omniscient narrator for that (it's always good to have a narrator to blame).
6. I agree with Stephen King who said carry a book with you at all times. That was the only way I got through the 900 page book.
What I did like about it? It was hilarious in some parts, the insights were *cough* insightful, the issues of livelihood, money, status and love are universal, and it's good to know that politicians haven't changed. The historical perspective was interesting. The last two hundred pages rocked when the story kicked into high gear.
What literary Mount Everest have you summited lately?