Tuesday, September 10, 2013

The Eyre Affair by Jasper Fforde (2001) and Sleepwalkers by Christopher Clark (2012)

I tried to read The Eyre Affair once before, and gave up on it then.  Far sooner than I'm giving up on it now.  I should have trusted that first instinct.  I've been told that the rest of the books in the series are far superior, but I don't care.  I'm giving up.  It's too much like Rick Riordan or Artemis Fowl for grown ups.  It occasionally reminded me of The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy - but I'll just go back and re-read that.

Sleepwalkers I so wanted to like; it's certainly not badly written at all.  But I need my history to be more about people and less about events, and Sleepwalkers , at least up to page 100 or so, was all about events and diplomacy.  I'm also not a big fan of World War I, and this proved it again to me.

The Sleepwalkers: How Europe Went to War in 1914The Sleepwalkers: How Europe Went to War in 1914 by Christopher Munro Clark

I really, really wanted to like Sleepwalkers, and get hopelessly lost with the Edwardians and the Hapsburgs and the Belle Epoque - but I just couldn't get into this one.  Too much diplomacy and events, not enough people, I think was the culprit behind my dislike.

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The Eyre Affair (Thursday Next #1)The Eyre Affair by Jasper Fforde

I don't know what's wrong with me, but I've tried to read this twice in the last ten years since it came out, and can't finish it.  It's a pity too, because on its surface it has much I enjoy in a book - time travel, fictional characters interacting with "real" fictional characters, mystery, alternative history...  I mean, it has living dodos for goodness sake.  But even with all that, it just falls flat in my hands and head.  There will not be a third attempt.

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