Sunday, January 18, 2015

Book Review: Ten Days in the Hills by Jane Smiley

Maybe I just have High Expectations for Authors that I have already Read?

Oh Jane Smiley, you have disappointed me. . . 

As you may know I recently reviewed Tell All by Chuck Palahniuk and was thoroughly disappointed because usually I love his books. Well I have also read Jane Smiley before and really enjoyed Private Life by her so maybe that is why this one really didn't do anything for me. I really don't try to compare previous books and in this case, I didn't even recognize the author's name until after I decided to quit.

Because I am reading on a Kindle these days, I can't tell you exactly how many pages I had dragged through but my gauge said I was at about 6%. I can tell you if felt like forever but in using to figure out how many pages that might be I have calculated I read about 33 pages.

Often after I read a book I will think about my review and then after I post it I will go and read other ones. In this case, I did a sneak preview and I can tell you I'm not the only one who feels this way and many agree that this is not like most of Smiley's books so I know it's not just me.

This book starts with a long drawn out conversation between Max and Elana and I never got past it. I gave up. Max is a former Oscar winner for directing films. Elana is his lover who writes self help books. This takes place the morning after the Oscars which dazzles her. The conversation meanders back and forth from Max's desire to direct an indie film that will be called "Lovemaking with Elana" and Elana's fear/repulsion for the anticipated war in Iraq and the "weapons of mass destruction". Max verbally visualizes the scenes in the movie he imagines, picking out the stars to play both himself and Elana, and spends an inordinate amount of time focused on how the skin on her arm contrasts with the skin on her belly. I was not at all interested in hearing about Max's member and how it had a little birthmark only visible in full sunlight and how he couldn't get it up because of the conversation. I had little patience for Elana lamenting over and over again about the war.

The truth is that these people lived in another world and it was hard to really sympathize with them when they went on and on about their problems. I really wasn't interested in learning anymore about their friends that would be naturally be introduced further on in this book. Done. Do not recommend.

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