Monday, February 28, 2011

My very first DNF post........ ending February on an irritated note

It's the last day of February, so I thought I'd do something a bit different today..... write a bit of a snarky post about a book I did not finish.   And yes, I plan to go back to my regular review posts starting tomorrow (whew!).

But I'm in a bit of a mood after attempting a re-read of a book that I had remembered liking, and that this time around, rubbed me the wrong way.   I had read Julie Powell's book, Julie and Julia, when it first came out (I remember grabbing it from the new nonfiction shelves at the library).  I remember laughing at parts, and just enjoying the book overall.  While it didn't inspire me to attempt making recipes from Julia Child, it did make me appreciate what I did like to cook, especially since at the time I read it, my kitchen was still in its pre-renovation state (I had poo-brown appliances from 1961, okay?   That's another story all by itself.....).

Meryl Streep is awesome.
I had decided to revisit this book recently.  I spent two weeks being sick with a nasty virus, and frankly, I just wanted some comfort reading.  I wanted to read books where I knew the outcome, and I knew the story.  I re-read some Maeve Binchy and Anne Perry, and picked up this book from the library.   Inspired by the recent movie (starring the most amazing and wonderful Meryl Streep), I thought to myself that this would be a great book to re-read, especially since I was feeling better (and actually had some appetite back).   

And..... something happened in between the first time reading and this recent re-read: the book sucked.  Perhaps it was my original state of mind years ago, and my state of mind this week.  Perhaps it because I had the movie firmly in mind, and the storyline in the film.  Whatever the reason, this time around, I fervently disliked the book.   It wasn't funny, and I found the author just grated on me (not unlike what happens when I use my micrograter on a lemon and accidental scrape a bit of finger, instead).  I found her tone to be off-putting, and her stories of her friends to be annoying.  I even tried stopping and re-starting a bit further into the book, thinking that maybe I just wasn't at a good part yet.   No, that didn't work, either.   I wound up being irritated and just putting the book down.   It didn't help that there was a teaser chapter from Powell's second book, Cleaving, included in the edition I checked out from the library.  In fact, that made me chafe, too -- I had read a few chapters of that book when it was published, and just plain didn't like it.

Needless to say, this experience put me off the book, although I still enjoy the film.  What I'm wondering is: what happened?   Did Meryl Streep and Amy Adams ruin the book for me?  Did I somehow miss the author's annoying tone the first time around?  Did getting rid of my poo-brown appliances and renovating my kitchen somehow make me identify less with this book?   Not sure.   I was happy to put this book down and pick up something else, which I'm completely enjoying (a new book ....  expect a review soon). 

Has this happened to anyone else?  


Anonymous said...

That hasn't happened to me yet, but I've not actually re-read a book for a very long time. In fact not since I was a child. Once I know a story I don't really like to re-read. I don't really rewatch films either. I know, I'm strange lol.

Teacher/Learner said...

Wow, that's too bad that a reread of a book you really liked turned sour. That's never happened to me, however sometimes I've re-read a favourite book at the wrong time & need to stop. I also read J&J after seeing the movie (you're right--Meryl was superb!) and did not like it all, giving up after about 100-150 pages, so you're not at all alone :) I've heard that My Life in France by Julia Child is a much better book.

barmybex said...

I have had this before, I've picked up a book I Remember loving and getting fed up with it, maybe it has something to do with the way we feel at the time of reading, or I suppose our tastes change as we grow and develop. It's a sad thing when it happens, but think it's jut one of those things that happen and we have to say goodbye and move on.
I haven't read this book or seen the film, but have heard good things.

Healigan said...

I think Julie comes off much better as interpreted by Amy Adams. She was unlikeable in the book, in my opinion. I'm with you.

Ranee said...

I've never read the book. But LOVED the movie. I have had people say the book was not as good as the movie. So I guess that's one I won't be reading. Thanks for your honesty!! :)

Tales of Whimsy said...

I haven't tried this one but I am reading (slowly) My Life in France.

I remember not digging Julie in the movie so I wonder if she would bug me in the book.

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