Wednesday, January 2, 2008

1st book of the year (and a new format!)

Book:A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L'Engle
Pages: 256
Entertainment Rating: 4/5
Snooty Rating: 4.5/5
Total: 8.5/10

I'm not quite sure how I read this as a child. The first half was a pleasure, Charles Wallace is simply charming, and poor Meg is...poor Meg. The book read easily but was well crafted and witty. The middle gets a bit dicey and becomes more of a chore for a reader who wants any clear picture of what the characters are experiencing physically. This is saved by the overwhelming sense of hopelessness and helplessness. At times it actually hurt to keep reading! Again, I don't understand how I read this book when I was young without being haunted by it for days afterward. Perhaps "evil" and "desperation" simply weren't words with much meaning for me when I was little. Thankfully! The book has a very strong good vs. evil theme, and evil is uniformity and lack of free will, while good is the freedom to move to your own beat. A complex book! It's a socio-political cautionary tale marketed to children...Bizarre.

Up next is Margaret Atwood's The Handmaid's Tale. I'm about 60 pages in and not much has happened. My frustration with this causes me to reflect even more on L'Engle's book because they seem to share a common theme, but L'Engle gets right down to the point while Atwood seems to need lots and lots of setup.

256/15000 (And this time I'm really going to try and keep track of my pages.)


Barbara said...

I think the difference is that Atwood is "contemporary literature" and L'Engle wrote "genre fiction."

Genre readers demand plots.
Literature readers demand style.

My two cents, anyway....

Robin Marie said...

I agree with that but I think that The Handmaid's Tale was seriously lacking in style. It had a good foundation, and had Atwood done more than drone I think it would have been a very successful book.


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