07 July 2010

Dragging one out of the waiting room.

I was wondering where to go with my summer reading, and out of sheer laziness and a lack of decent book stores in my undisclosed current location, I decided to take up a book I'd abandoned last year (which I'd abandoned once before as well). The book is called A Fraction of the Whole by Steve Toltz, and it was shortlisted for the Booker way back in 2008 I believe. That's when I bought it and originally started it.

I abandoned it the first time because the semester got in the way.

I abandoned it the second time because another semester got in the way.

On both occasions, I wasn't exactly displeased that I had to abandon the book. It's not that it's bad (otherwise I would have abandoned it completely); it's just that the story doesn't grip me. It is funny, I'll give it that. I don't know if it's "riotously funny," the way the front cover blurb, purportedly from the Wall Street Journal, claims it is, but it is funny. I also think that on page 329, I'm finally into the thick of things and the rewards are starting to fall my way. The novel itself is 561 pages, so I'm over halfway through, and I damn well better finish it this time.

However, the story doesn't hang on me the way that other books do, where you find yourself thinking about the characters or the plot in the middle of doing something else. These characters and the plot, such as it is, remain between the covers of the book. Jasper Dean is humorous enough, but not very lively at this point, and his father, Martin...well, for all his wackiness he really comes across as dull.

Well, here goes nothing...

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