Thursday, April 12, 2012

A Fierce Radiance by Lauren Belfer

2 stars

I wanted to love this book.

I wanted to be swept up by the sweeping artistic descriptions of New York-- the home front.  To lose myself in the fascination surrounding the development of penicillin.

This book is 527 pages long.

I was fascinated.

And then I was bored.  Nearly to tears.

And then finally, I was compelled.

The problem is, if you add together the fascinated portion and the compelled portion, it only adds up to about 150-200 pages.

Out of 527.

Now, I read quickly.  Insanely quickly, some might say.  But even at about a page a minute (often my average speed, though it depends on the genre and how interested I am) and even skimming (which I did a LOT of with this book-- something I rarely do) 527 pages is a BIG time commitment.

A chunk of time I'll never get back.

I had initially envisioned this review as an interesting commentary on how different life is now-- I was shocked at how casually I told Mister today, when he showed me a small scratch on his finger, that it wouldn't kill him.  I said it glibly, laughingly.  And yet, in 1940 it could have.

I am grateful to live in a time when my children are unlikely to die from something as simple as a scraped knee.

But you know what?  This book has already cost me more time and energy than anything else I've read in quite a while-- and I didn't enjoy much of any of it.

And this is already the longest review I've written in a while.

So I'll just end now-- with one final comment:

Must we really read all about the characters pondering undressing people they've just met?  Really?

No comments:

Post a Comment