Monday, March 12, 2007

The Abortionist's Daughter

Just finished reading The Abortionist's Daughter. My thoughts on it? In a word? Meh. End of entry.

Oh, you'd like something a little more descriptive? Fine. It was okay. I mean, it wasn't bad, but I found I was easily distracted and it took way longer to get through the 280ish pages than it should for someone who reads as quickly as I do. But weirdly, despite how long it took me to finish, I think the book was too short. Things weren't really developed, ideas were dropped into the text half-formed and then left, never to be picked up on. Was it intentional, showing snippets of the characters and their complex lives or was it just for lack of space or even worse, poor storytelling? Characters acted in ways that seemed to come from nowhere, and I spent a lot of time thinking "Where the did that come from? Did I miss something here?"

Speaking of the characters and what we did learn of their personalities, I found most of the characters behaved randomly and mostly like jackasses. I know you don't need to sympathize with all characters, but if a book relies on delving into the whys and wherefores of the characters more so than the actual mystery, then you'd better have at least one or two characters who don't annoy readers with their continual idiocy. The only one who came off as sane and who I could really connect with was the abortionist who was murdered in the beginning of the book and who we only come to know through flashbacks.

And that was another problem. There were flashbacks throughout, but they weren't really clearly delineated. The only indicator, if there was any, was the month. Sometimes the flashback was to years in the past, and sometimes it was to just before the murder, but it took some figuring out to determine which was which. And though I love mysteries, if the part of the mystery I'm spending most of my time trying to figure out is where in the time continuum the action is taking place, we've got a problem.

Rating: 2 and a half bottles of gin out of 5. Not terrible, but not as riveting as I hoped.

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