Friday, October 29, 2004

Book club verdict: The Englishman's Boy

This is going to be short and sweet, because even though it's surprisingly early for a Friday night, I'm tired and going to bed.

The verdict was a general "meh" feeling. While none of us actively hated the overall books (there were moments that made us see red), we felt that there wasn't really any build up. Normally, you have an introduction, a build up, and a climax, but this book went straight from intro all the way through to the climax. As well, there were a great many cliches, such as the gruff but loveable old guy, the crazy rich guy, and the psychopath.

My feeling was that the story ended poorly. That is to say, I would have been happy if it ended badly or happily, yet this book drifted off. The narrator was wimpy all the way through, and it had a suitably wimpy ending.

This led to a discussion about Canadian lit in general, and award-winning Canadian lit in specific. That it's dull and heavy and depressing - and that's not something that Canadians are known for. Really - it's like we're a nation of agnsty teenagers: "Oh, I'm all happy and funny and laid back on the outside, but if you read my book you'll see that I'm deep and sensitive and complex!" Pshaw.

Next up: Life of Pi, by Yann Martel.