11 May, 2008

Easily Distracted

Lately, for some reason, my attention span concerning books has been nearly non-existent. In just the past 3 weeks I have given up on four different books. Usually I will give a book 200 to 300 pages (depending on the size of the book) before I deem it not worth my time. I think some of the fault has to lie with the circumstances I find myself in right now. I am New Orleans, away from my wife, daughter and unborn child. I am still trying to find a good job and that causes stress. We still haven't sold the house in Chattanooga and that causes more stress. Now, having said that, some of these books I've given up on haven't done much to grab my attention in the first place. But since this blog is essentially a self-serving endeavor, I thought I might list the offending tomes and if anyone out there has read any of them and thinks I should give them a second chance you can make your case here. The first (and one I would most likely finish) is Lord of Snow and Shadows by Sarah Ash. This actually wasn't a terrible book at all. I found many of the themes to be very Shakespearean. The problem was that the character development seemed forced and a little rushed. Other than that, not too bad. Second was In the Eye of Heaven by David Keck. This book got a lot of pub on the Internet sites last year and, having begun it, I'm not sure why. It's not original, it's kinda hard to follow and it's very disjointed. Third comes The Jackal of Nar by John Marco. I was really disappointed in this series because I think the trilogy he wrote after this (which begins with The Eyes of God) was excellent. This book was his first and it is painfully obvious. The biggest problem I have is that the characters here do things that make absolutely no sense in any world, real or imagined. It's like he had to force his own characters to do outrageous things just to tell his story. Like I said, a real disappointment. Last up was Rhapsody by Elizabeth Haydon. Within 20 pages I knew I would hate this book. This is the type of book that, unfortunately, makes a large majority of people think women can't write good fantasy (and no, I do not personally believe that). I can't even explain what is wrong here. Suffice it to say, if you read as much fantasy as I do you know pretty much right away when something works and when it doesn't. Here it most definitely does not. The only book I've finished since coming to New Orleans has been To Green Angel Tower by Tad Williams. It is the concluding volume of his Memory, Sorrow and Thorn series. At over 1,000 pages it is perhaps the best thing I have yet read by him. It scored a perfect 5 in my book because even at that length, it never stagnates. That's hard enough to do in a "normal" size book. So maybe the problem isn't with me after all. I mean, if I can finish a 1,000+ page book without a problem maybe those other books just sucked.

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