Monday, June 4, 2007

The Little Friend

I finished this six-hundred and something pages of book a couple of days ago and the farthest I got with this review blog was downloading a photo of the book. To say the least I was just plain disappointed when it was over. We were hanging out the next day and Toby asked me what I was reading. I mentioned that I'd just finished a book so, of course, he asked what it was about and how I liked it.

That's when I realized how upset I was.

Apparently it isn't enough for me to read a giant book and enjoy the journey and the "place" the author takes me, I have to feel something more than just the accomplishment of reading a long book. I have to like it in the end.

You know when you watch a movie and at the end of it you feel like what's the point and then you complain about it to people and tell them it wasn't good? Well, I think that's dumb. Cause, seriously, what did you think Spiderman 3 was going to be about? It's called entertainment people. Geez.

I do not, however, hold literature in the same category and I think Donna Tartt, author of "The Little Friend" would appreciate me not characterizing her work as entertainment. This woman is a very gifted writer and she did extensive research that makes this book so authentic. What I then wonder is... Why take me on an incredible, insightful journey into a family traumatized for twelve years by the mysterious death of a child? Why explore the minds and lives of meth-amphetamine drug manufacturers and users? Why bring me into the world of a small southern town and create a fantastic setting? Why do these things and then pull a big finishing chapter hollywood ending?

I know, truth is often stranger than fiction, so when a book is - appropriately (see this blog) - categorized a non-fiction I allow for some "real life is crazy" moments. But when an author spends so much time focused on every detail, and she really did, then why, WHY I ask ruin it all with a gi-normous coincidence wrought ending? It just made me sad.

If you have no idea what I'm talking about then, well, that's okay. I don't want to talk anymore about this book. It's just making me depressed. And listen, if I'm depressed then I'll never get out of my p.j. pants.


Anonymous said...

that's too bad for the tartt book. i've been waiting about two years to read the secret history, recommended by a reliable source (i think...), and now you've just (probably) permanently dislodged it from my list. should i sell my copy to you?

meg said...

Anonymous - perhaps if i knew who you were, i'd be able to comment back in a more appropriate fashion.

elixir said...

Seriously, thanks for doing the dirty work for us of eliminating books from the list.

sufferingsummer said...

yeah, seriously I think I would put a 600 page book through the window if it ended poorly (and by poorly I mean a cop out ending as you've described) and since we are renting our apartment and I can't afford to fix a broken window I am indebted to you for helping me avoid said situation.

meg said... two faithful readers. Thank you so much for understanding my post, for one. And secondly, it was my pleasure.

Honestly though, I'm still really bummed because every day up until (about) the last half of the last chapter... (there were a few very brief moments of "oh come on!" but I'm not a total critic, I was going to allow for some coincidence) I really, really enjoyed this book. I'm just so sad that she got tired of writing a really good book there at the end...when it matters most!

Andy said... I wrong to complain when movies suck? I'm not sure about your point there. Not that I ever have high hopes for a movie, but I must have some kind of standards for what truly entertains me right? Otherwise I could watch Jerry Springer all day. Although I might accidentally kill myself in that case. With a chair.

meg said...

andy f. don't get me wrong, you can complain about movies and have a standard for entertainment, come on, we all do. (I said "Spiderman 3" just for YOU btw)

My point was more that I hold books at a different standard, not so much as simple entertainment...anyways, please don't start watch Jerry Springer, we couldn't be friends anymore.