The Book Addict's Guide. It's a chance to mini-review books that I read in my pre-blogging days. This week's topic is novels with strange names. And both of mine happen to be dystopian!
Oryx and Crake by Margaret Atwood
While I did find the book enjoyable, I wouldn't say it's one of my favorite dystopians. As you learn more about Snowman's problematic situation, you get his backstory, which includes Crake (his former best friend) and Oryx, a woman they both loved. After the initial "OMG what is happening here" moment in the first chapter, I felt that the plot got a bit slow and disjointed. For a dystopian novel, it doesn't have a very energetic pace, and it jumps around in a way that is very confusing. However, in the last quarter or so, things started to come together, and the climax at the end left me interested enough to seek out the novel's sequel, The Year of the Flood. Overall, not the best dystopian I've ever read, but it's intriguing in terms of world-building, and you'll like it if you have your thinking cap on.
1Q84 by Haruki Murakami
Oy vey, this book. This book is the first book I ever (EVER!) did not finish. This and Middlemarch (I gave up on them on the same day. It was a frustrating day).
I still feel I have the right to (mini) review it though, because I spent over 6 weeks on it. Which is eternity for me! It's 954 pages long and I read about 600 of them in that time, so I have to get a little credit here.
Most people I talk to ADORE 1Q84. Cannot say enough good things about it. I, on the other hand, found it extremely tedious and boring. It centers on Aomame, a young hit-woman who enters 1Q84, a parallel existence to her life in the year 1984. At the same time, it follows Tengo, a writer whose complicated story begins to mingle with Aomame's as time goes on. The plot is much more complex than all that, but Aomame and Tengo's relationship is the basis for all else in the novel.
Why did I dislike it? One, it was just so.darn.slow. I don't mind wordy/long novels, if they actually take me somewhere, but I felt stuck in park for the majority of these pages. And two, the characters. They were weird and quirky in a way that made me completely unable to connect with them or their intentions. Plus, one of them always speaks in a completely flat, monotone voice (always states questions, doesn't "ask" them), which drove me nuts. I found none of them likeable and after a while, just couldn't muster the energy to care about their lives anymore. Overall, a huge no-go for me.
Do you have any good books with weird names?