Monday, August 23, 2010

GBC Question #2

Question Two from the 30 Day Book Challenge found by Shannon is: Least Favourite Book.

I struggled with this one because I couldn't actually think of any books that I disliked. Every really horrible books which I read on Zanzibar (Come Easy, Go Easy -- a perfect example why people who aren't fluent in their second language should not write a book in it) still provide laughter. And then it suddenly hit me: Coming Down from Wa by Audrey Thomas.

My mom got the book out of the library because she had read great reviews on it. When she finished, I asked her what she thought and she responded with "it was interesting." That should have been my first clue right there. It's not a thick book and there was over a week before it was due back so I started reading it. At the end of every chapter I thought I should just put it down, but again, good reviews. I was waiting for the book to get... well, good. Heck, I would have even taken 'decent' at that point. By the time the big reveal came, I had already figured it out three chapters earlier and wasn't shocked in the slightest. Not a single thing about it was unexpected. I was left not caring what happened to the protagonist or his relationship with his family or if he even returned to Canada after his trip to Wa, Ghana. I just. Didn't. Care. It was the first (and as far as I remember, only) time I had read a book and honestly couldn't find anything to recommend it. I wanted to demand my money back but a) it was from the library and b) it was my mom who took it out.

The only part of the book that I enjoyed was when the main protagonist explains that he went into Art History for his major because he has the artist's eye but can not draw. It was explained that he could look at something and know that it would make a beautiful painting, he could even see the painting on the canvas, but when he tried to paint it, it never looked like what he saw. I remember that because I have the same problem. I can look at something and see where I should put the lines on the paper in front of me to make the picture, but what ends up being drawn looks like a step about stick figures. Unfortunately, I was left feeling that the author has the same problem with writing books: she can see what makes a good story, she just can't translate it onto the page... at least with this book.

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