I thought for 2day, I would share with you some of my thoughts about my recent book purchases from B&N.
To refresh your memories, I'd asked for suggestions from everyone as to what I should buy for books.
Out of the four book that I'd purchased, I've read two and these two are what I'll be offering my opinion on. I will offer my opinion on the other two as well at the very end of the post.
1} The Devil At Large: Erica Jong on Henry Miller
This book was highly recommended to me by a regular reader of mine, so I thought I would take a chance on it. Normally, I don't read Erica Jong, but I have heard of Henry Miller, so I thought that this would be a nice intro to the both of them.
Unfortunately, I gave up about one-quarter to one-third of the way through. I guess the main reason why I did was that the writing was just a little too dry and cerebral for my tastes.
About 20 pages in I actually had to force myself not to jump whole sections just to see if anything of note or interest was going to happen.
I'm sure that Erica Jong is a good writer, but it felt like I was reading a psychological case history that was written by a doctor who was overly intertwined with their patient.
I won't tell you not to buy it, because you should get multiple opinions about a book before making a decision, but I will say that this book didn't leave that good of an impression on me.
2} Beat To A Pulp: Round 1
This book was highly recommended by dozens of people for the past year and a half, and this was going to be one of my primary purchases this year.
For the most part, I did enjoy this anthology. It was a blast reading some of the stories the second time around and some of the other stories the first time around, since there were short periods of time when I wasn't able to read the e-zine.
To answer your question, the reason why I said 'for the most part' was that there were two stories that I didn't like.
One was a story called "The Unreal Jesse James". I wasn't too keen on it the first time around, so I completely skipped it the second time around.
The other was "Acting Out", which started out with great promise, but became so convoluted and disjointed in such a short period of time that I skipped to the last page of the story and started reading backwards to see if I could make any sense out of it.
End result was an epic fail for that story.
Overall the book is a great intro to the concept of the short story and definitely a refreshing change of pace to the overly literary and painfully cerebral short stories that seem to be force fed down the collective throat of the general public (yes, I've read way too many literary journals, and I suspect that for a good percentage of the reading public, that is the only way they get their short story fix). If you're not overly familiar with the short story genre, then this book is a great place to start.
Now, as for the other two books that I bought: Blood Hunter and Night Brothers, the main reason as to why I haven't read them yet is pretty simple.
Lack of down time at work. Work has been rather chaotic and tense for the past month or so, so I really haven't had the time to make any kind of inroads on my reading. I have gotten about 90 pages into Blood Hunter and even though the jumping around makes me scratch my head at times, the story itself has kept me entertained. As soon as I can find some quiet time, I'll try to complete it. When I do, the other will be cracked open and read.
Great way to burn a few brain cells. Try it some time. Who knows, maybe you'll become smarter than the people who'd hired you in the first place.