Last week I caved to the lure of titles I usually avoid. But they called my name (whispered actually) and I checked them both out of the library. (Disclaimer: What follows is only my opinion.) They are both selling well and coining money for their authors, but they puzzled me in excess. Seriously folks.
Dan Brown took four years to research Origin. For this, he must be given high marks. I suspect he endured stinging eyes and headaches. Reading it did this to me. I own up to liking The DaVinci Code. I found it clever and fascinating when I read it years back. I think I read The Inferno too, but not the others. Origin, though, has been selling like hotcakes and I thought, “why not”?
All the history-changing action took place – apparently, in one day. I didn’t realize this until the end and then I was sorry for learning it.
First and foremost: It simply couldn’t have happened in one day for all the action, helicopters, crazy clerics, overwrought scientists and Robert Langdon, who knows damn near everything. He also knows everyone, in all echelons and cultures. You get earth-shattering revelations from a bizillionaire scientist, you get a murder, you get royalty and his about to be queen, nautch dancer, priests, religious sects and lots of fear and praying. How can it miss? (It is not as clever as the DV Code. It works hard at it though (did I mention Bilbao and the Goog). For me, the star of the book was Barcelona and Gaudi. Just enough Gaudi info to make me want to know more about him. The rest was silly. And too long and Dan may write yet another blockbuster – but this was NOT it. Tired and let-down with Origin – but I did read it all.
And there came The Lying Game (by Ruth Ware of Girl on the Train fame; another one that confused me) What can I say? I am not a chick-lit chick. This is a serious chick book. I can only say it was pages of breastfeeding (in detail) and the slurper had a name that I didn’t like. It was on almost every page. Lots of drinking, smoking, cursing, unrequited, maybe incestuous love and a heavy hint of Lesbianism. The latter simmered along underneath but never was part of the story. This was a grueling novel. I felt grueled as I read the last page – where the stars of the dog and pony show all seemed to escape – with guilt, bloody hands, shame and the well-fed baby. Also death and destruction. And, voila, all the storylines to their end. They could have come sooner.
This is why I do not like to write negative reviews. But I read them and I thought I would share what I took away.
I also took out more of the Akashi Noir series – these are new ones and I just hope they keep on. I read the first batch in its entirety and loved every one. This new round comes as a pleasure and they are covering cities around the world. A lovely way to pick and choose those you like best. It features various authors – and good wide offering. I see these as great spring reading and the best way to pass the treatment of my improving condition.