Thursday, February 9, 2012

I Hate Giving Bad Reviews

I confess....I hate writing a negative review.  But, then again, bad reviews give meaning to good ones.

Like many, I came to "meet" Shriver in We Need to Talk About Kevin.   Enjoyed is an odd word for such a dark novel, but I found it very well-done.  As such, I jumped on the Shriver pick when it became available as an advance read from my lovely Harper pals.  I wish I hadn't.

This is a novel about reporting, terrorism, and truth.  Edgar Kellogg is a former lawyer (one would think this would attract me, a fellow ex-attorney) who is making a move to journalism (hey, I write too...I should love this).  He lacks the journalistic credentials so is shipped off to cover a sorta-story in Barba, a fictional region in Portugal that has potential terrorist ties.  Kellogg finds himself in the shadow of his predecessor, again feeling like an also-ran in life.  He becomes steeped in the enclave of Barba hacks and more intimately involved with the purported terrorists than he ever imagined.

I truly sturggled to finish this one and it was only stubborness that propelled me.  Two stars for some interesting ideas but the execution did nothing for me.  I didn't like the style, wasn't compelled by the characters or plot, and just found it a difficult journey.  I did not have an issue with the terrorism plot being played a bit humorously, I just didn't think it was well done.

P.S.  Still a bit offended by the guy who peaked in prep school saying: "So I tossed it. I didn't apply to Yale or Harvard, but Haverford."


Russell Beets said...

I usually avoid blogging about albums I hate. I might put them in small roundup of other things to lessen the sting. The only time I do review them in full is when the work is truly half-assed and lazy and not worthy of their talent.

The Rambling Blogger said...

i prob would have skipped the review if it wasn't one of the advance books i get in exchange for doing the reviews. i considered waiting for a second but wanted it off my "to do" list.