Maybe we can still be friends? How often do you think that when you read a book? I must confess that I don’t have those type of regrets too often since I – like any obsessive reader – have developed an affinity for picking the types of books I like time after time. However, I still get slammed every now and again by a book I thought would be really super duper but turns out to be sort of super duper and sort of not. (I secretly think Katy Perry’s song “Hot ‘N Cold’ was written to describe exactly this situation instead of that same old boy/girl stuff….seriously “it’s black and it’s white” is totally a reference to the printed word.)
The most recent book I read like this is Farewell, Dorothy Parker by Ellen Meister. A book featuring one of America’s resident smart asses as a ghost haunting an autograph book? Where do I sign up?
Unfortunately, the book delivered little. Obviously Dorothy Parker was more than the sum of her wisecracks and witticisms, but Farewell, Dorothy Parker only vaguely tapped into these things and spent more time with the contemporary hauntee, Violent Epps — a woman whose personal life lacks the snap her professional movie criticisms possess in abundance.
I feel like the book may have worked better if it operated like other volumes focused on dual characters and let each character have the point-of-view floor for a bit. We always see Dorothy from Violet’s perspective, and it would have been fun to have that twisted the other way round — to see what this audacious woman from another era thinks about a modern woman with the world at her fingertips reaching out and touching nothing.
I never feel the need to finish reading a book if I start it, give it the ol’ college try, and don’t like it after a respectable amount of pages pass. I tend to progress into page flipping for the remainder of the volume to see if it ever perks up, and if it doesn’t, I”ll read the last chapter to get the gist of what happened in the in-between portions. I didn’t do that with Farewell, Dorothy Parker….I actually pushed myself on through page-by-page, so I obviously liked it to some extent. However the resounding feeling I left with was disappointment.
Which books left you hanging?