Optimism is NOT Arrogance

Arrogance is the belief that you are BETTER than others. Optimism is the belief that you have the same CHANCE as others. We all have the chance to achieve our dreams. Don't ever let anyone tell you differently.

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Partial Book Review - A Confederacy of Dunces

Ok, I may get slammed here, but I'm gonna throw my two cents around on this book even though I haven't completely finished it.  I'm actually having trouble finishing it.

I picked it up based on the recommendation of family and friends.  They thought it was one of the funniest books they've ever read.  Now, I'd like to think (to quote Bruno Kirby in Good Morning Vietnam), "I know funny".  I love a good comedic read and thought Douglas Adams was probably the best at it that I've ever come across.

I don't get this book.

The main anti-hero protagonist is a jerk.  Ok, I can understand that, but he's not (to me), a funny jerk.  He's educated, arrogant, but acts incredibly childish, and the humor just doesn't play with me.  He sounds annoying.

More importantly, however, is the complete lack of any story.  So far (and I'm really not that far), he's been accosted by the New Orleans police, and then sent on his way.  Then his mother and he hang out in a bar.  And talk.

Where's the story?  What's he trying to achieve?  What journey is he about to go on that I want to follow him on?

The reason I'm having a tough time reading it, staying with it, is because I'm not INVESTED in it.  I don't really care what happens.  That can be a killer for any book, and it's one reason why boys don't read YA books and why classics don't fly with teenagers.  They just DON'T CARE.  How do you make them care?  I think you hook 'em with a character they can relate to.  Someone they'd want to be friends with, they care about, they think is pretty cool, or is just like them.  Once you've got that, then you throw that character into a world of hurt trying to do something, and now you've got the reader hooked.  Now they want to see if their friend is gonna make it out...

Otherwise, they'll drop the book like I dropped "A Confederacy of Dunces".  I just don't care what happens to this guy.

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