Mar 29, 2014

Reading frustrations

Recently my hubby purchased a new Kindle reader for me, and I took advantage of the Amazon lending library to check out a free book.  I really wasn't familiar with any of the books available, so I just chose on that was on time travel.

I read on chapter and I am giving up.  I really wanted to give up on it after the first paragraph because I found the writing terrible.  I even tried to edit it to make it work.

Here is my edited version....
"Behind me the footsteps halted for an instant before I ducked into the next corridor.  Had I been in my usual shorts and t-shirt, I would have been able to get out of this hotel long ago, and a good solid kick to the head would have rendered the good doctor unconscious and my neck would not be in agony."

That would have been an opening paragraph that I could have rolled with, instead the story opens with....
"The heel of my white kidskin boot ripped a six inch gash in the hem of my skirt as I whipped around the corner.  Behind me, the footsteps halted for just an instant, and then continued, faster than before.  I ducked into the corridor, silently cursing the gods of 1890's fashion.  had I been in my usual shorts and t-shirt, I would have been our of this retched hotel long ago.  A solid kick to the head would have rendered the good doctor unconscious and the side of my neck wouldn't be screaming in agony."

Part of me hates pointing out what I find as poor writing (as I am not even to write a single paragraph for a story).  But, to me this seems like the sort of stuff written in an intro to creative writing class in college and is distracting and painful to read. 

I blame my lack of tolerance for this writing style on Mr Fitzgerald and his elegance of prose.  I was talking to my hubby on how I would take any one of his poorly written stories and ridiculous plot twists over a more modern interesting plot and terrible writing....any day.

Mar 24, 2014

Book 23: Sometimes Madness is Widsom by Kendall Taylor

I have often said I am not a fan of Zelda.  This is mostly due to the fact that most biographers feel they need to blame one of them for destroying the other.  There has been a surge of love for Zelda (which is not undeserved) but at the expense of Scott, and I have a hard time when I read that.

In this book, Kendall Taylor seems to do a good job of presenting a balanced view of the pair.  Neither one is solely responsible for the others misfortunes.  I liked the balanced reporting I found in this narrative.  I found Zelda interesting and tragic.

The only criticism I have is that in the final chapter, it seems like Ms. Taylor undid all the balanced reporting and heaped a bunch onto Scott (which seems so easy to do).  I am willing to overlook this and move on. 

I have read too many biographies on Zelda that sensationalize and place blame, and seem to have an agenda that I am unable to recommend those books, but this one I feel comfortable recommending.

Mar 21, 2014

Short Stories 53-74: Various FSF short stories

Wow- it has taken me a long time to update my reading list.  School has kicked back in and I just have not had the time to get everything noted.  I was hoping that this wouldn't happen but instead of beating myself up about it I will just get it all out here and hopefully be better about it in the future.  As always, I will have more details on the Fitzgerald short stories on my Fitzgerald Musing site, just follow the links.

Read in January:
The Fiend
Night in Chancellorsville
Zone of Accident
The Intimate Strangers
The Passionate Eskimo
Shaggy's Morning

Read in March:
One Interne
The Pusher-in-the-Face
The Third Casket
The End of Hate
Six of One-
New Type
Her Last Case
No Flowers
I Got Shoes
The Family Bus
The Rubber Check
One of my Oldest Friends
Not in the Guidebook
John Jackson's Arcady
The Unspeakable Egg
Diamond Dick and the First Law of Woman