Saturday, September 30, 2006

The Secret River is one secret I can live without

I could be a bit biased because I've read In the Country of Men already, which I feel has all the quirkiness in the face of simplicity that make an excellent prize-winning writing (one more hurrah for this book!), but sad to say, I didn't feel for The Secret River as much as I hoped I would. To be fair, I started reading with an open and interested mind as this is one story (the exile of English convicts to Australia) I've never read anything about, both in fiction and non-fiction. The story itself was beautiful: a man's yearning for security and stability is one each one of us has experienced at one time or another. It was informative, yes, and it did evoke a certain accuracy of the times with the language and descriptions, but I didn't quite like the pacing of the book: there were some parts that just seemed to rush through, such as the hero's capture and trial--i felt like it just sprung on me!--and other sections that simply dawdled--too many times the author delivered details of the setting that, although beautifully written, just wasn't evocative enough. I also think the lack of dialogue may have contributed to such rambling accounts, and I would have preferred more of it. Although I'm happy to have learned a few things from this book, I don't think I'd want to read it again.


At 5:29 pm, Blogger Patchwork Platypus said...

I hated this book. I made two attempts to read it. The second time, I managed to make it to Australia. I threw it down 2/3rds of the way through. So boring, much like her other books.


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