Thanks to Atenah's meme, there's been a bit of a buzz about the books we love. The variety of views generated has been so diverse and interesting. Just goes to show how different books have touched us in so many ways. Or the same book in different ways.
Talking about favourite books got me thinking about those books that have disappointed me: I am not talking about sappy chic flick, especially the ones featuring Indian weddings ala Life Isn't all Ha Ha He He (Meera Syal) or Greek weddings or groom hunting culminating in wedding sort of book or Hollywood-script-disguised-as-book of fiction ie Da Vinci Code :you get the drift. (Aside. My social life has dwindled since I refused to proceed beyond chapter 1 of Dan Brown's bestseller. There are some people who will never admit me to their dinner parties anymore as a result. Even when I promise to bring along some lovingly made mushroom risotto. Such is life).
Coming back to the point. I am referring to those books that leave me wanting. The ones I could not wait to acquire, looked lovingly at its cover and gingerly traversed. The ones that all of a sudden, throw an about-turn. The ones that cause all aforesaid expectations to crash into smithereens. Failing in such an inexplicable way. At such a moment, the disappointment leaves a deep rend. No worst, it feels like walking in shoes without soles. You find yourself dragging along all the pebbles and sand that you don't want to.To give Dan Brown some credit, at least he doesn't have pretensions- he is just telling a story to be sold to Hollywood. Just like those chick flicks which sometimes, can be bearable at airport lounges/rail terminals.
But the books that I am referring to come under another guise.
I had expected so much more from them and in the wake of the disappointment, leave me with one of those 'what the hell' feelings. If I had an analogy, it would be all the men one considers 'partner' material but after a few dates, discard upon discovery that they are two dimensional cut-outs. Here's my lot.
1. Shadow of the Wind by Carlos Ruiz Zafon. The problem with this book is that it seduces the book lover with such an enchanting premise. A cemetery of forgotten books. Dark mystery. But the tackiest twist and turns ever. I was looking for Delia Smith Tiramisu. I get Tesco sponge cake.
2. Brick Lane by Monica Ali. I think that this is one of the most overrated books. So, woman marries boring man. She has affair with young insurgent in crotch hugging jeans. Who cares? For this, she gets to be on the Granta list?
3. The House of Blue Mangoes by David Davidar I expected so much more before reading. It turned out to be exotica served on a platter of limp storyline. Don't bother.
4. Lady Chatterley's Lover by DH Lawrence. Just a disguise for crude sex. Eukh.
5. In the Eye of the Sun by Ahdaf Soueif. I just don't get this book. Its supposed to be all about sexual liberation of middle eastern women and what not but the protagonist keeps on pining for a man who will emotionally and physically abuse her. Sprinkling a book with phrases like 'sexual imperialist' does not make it groundbreaking. Or maybe that’s the whole point? I'll be glad if someone can change my mind on this one.
Have I offended anybody with this list, particularly the legion of Da Vinci Code fans ? Let me know. I am always open to opinions/criticism/insights. But gently now. *hides face in self protection* Or does anybody want to share their 'books that disappoint' list? Maybe it includes Franny and Zooey. All's fair in bookish love and war.