14 April 2012

Book Review: A Town Like Paris, by Bryce Corbett

As I begin this blog post, I am feeling an overwhelming sense of relief. Relief that I have finally finished this book.

I don't usually write book reviews, I just list a completed book on my "Books" page. But this time, I felt a book review of sorts would be therapeutic.

In a word, I can describe it as "boring". If I wanted to use a few more words, I would call it one of the least enjoyable books I have read. Ever. Big statement? Yes, and even  bigger when you take into account the fact that I studied law. (Legal textbooks are hardly can't-put-down literary masterpieces.)
I did not finish reading this book on my first attempt. This was about my third or fourth attempt after having lost interest on previous occasions. I received it as a gift a few years ago and it has taken me that long to force myself to get through the whole thing once (one positive is that I did not actually spend any money on it).

The book promised so much. An Aussie bloke living the dream in Paris - surely a wonderful, interesting, enchanting story would unfold.

But no.

It was far from enchanting. It was barely even a story.

Corbett lost my interest from the outset. The first few chapters were disjointed and his insistence on describing inanimate objects as doing things "almost apologetically" was plain irritating. After being put offside at the start, I saw only arrogance in his descriptions of himself and the life he led. I had the realisation about halfway through the book that, quite frankly, I just didn't care about his story.

About two thirds of the way through, things picked up a little. His first few chapters about the Showgirl flowed ... a little ... and I had a glimmer of hope that I might enjoy the last part of the book. But really, the only reason I got to that part of that book at all was my own stubborn determination to finish it whether I liked it or not (and, to be honest, a little skim-reading helped me along too).  And even that not-awful part about the Showgirl stalled and lost its mojo towards the end.

To be fair, though, at least he finished his book and got it out there. My attempt at a novel is lying dormant, and has for the past 18 months been gathering electronic dust in the deep recesses of my computer while real life has gotten in the way. The characters I once knew so intimately are now acquaintances only. Maybe one day I'll get to know them again. In the meantime, I'll blog ... and hopefully choose better books to read.

Book: Paperback. I own it. (I think Hubby bought it).
Rating: I gave this 1 star on Goodreads.
One-liner: My opinions on this book were so strong (not in a good way), I felt compelled to write this review.

1 comment:

  1. I have a couple of half finished novels lying around too. Makes it even more frustrating though when you read something sub-standard that has made it to print. Hopefully you'll get a chance to refamiliarise yourself with those old acquiantances one day - or meet some new ones :)


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