Lord of Misrule by Jaimy Gordon
My rating: 2 of 5 stars
Ugh, really? This won the National Book Award over Nicole Krauss? Or even Peter Carey? I have to admit, I read the first 60 pages pretty closely and then decided to skim the rest. It is a very detailed account of a world I just couldn't make myself care about, apart from the occasional interesting tangent with Maggie, the girl with the wirey red hair. If it won the award because it had a unique setting, well, I guess aspiring authors can use that as their strategy. Because I just don't see any other merit to it.
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This is not the first time I have forced myself to finish a book because it had received great acclaim (Freedom, anyone?). I always start to doubt my literary prowess when this happens. Is it a matter of taste or am I not open enough? Do awards get given for reasons I don't understand? Should I force myself to figure out away to enjoy something I find excruciating?
Let's face it. I only read for fun. I can't help but push myself into reading outside my comfort zone, and don't usually regret it. Possibly only when reading books like this.
So who I think should have won the National Book Award? I would have given it to Great House or Room. I'm still going to read some of the non-fiction finalists, at least the winner, since I bought it a month ago. Eventually. Right now I'm reading the finalists for the 2010 Nebula Award, so expect some posts about those!