Pages: 76 / 332; 23%
The Reason for the Reaping: Yann Martel wrote Life of Pi, so, you know, this has promise.
As I Lay Summarizing: Tomás is grief-stricken in Lisbon the year 1906. His uncle lends him the weird-ass contraption that is an automobile, and Tomás heads to the High Mountains of Portugal in pursuit of…something. 🙂
The Line That Killed Me: “Does it not make more sense to face the elements–the wind, the rain, the sun, the onslaught of insects, the glumness of strangers, the uncertainty of the future–with the shield that is the back of one’s head, the back of one’s jacket, the seat of one’s pants?” (9). Death by backward clarity.
Best Character: Martim
Why [As] You Like It: Tomás and his interactions with this car are comic and wonderful. Martel captures the wonder and foreignness of the carriage without horses to great effect. Plus, he makes Portugal sound like a beautiful and scenic place. Someone’s done their homework concerning Portugal in 1900 (not me).
Why I’m Gone, Girl: Yann’s current obsession is lists that are lines and lines (and lines) long. Nouns, nouns everywhere. It’s happened so much that a) it’s annoying, and b) I straight-up skip over them because my eyes glaze over anyway. This may be a small misgiving, but these lists seem to be the thing that is supposed to spice up the prose. And it’s not working.
Last Line, Last Chance: “… rocking to and fro and side to side, hold on to the edge of the….”
Will I turn the page, or toss it into Mount Doom?
I don’t know. Boring is the wrong word to describe this novel. But, really, it kind of is. There’s no promise, and someone like Yann Martel has a lot (see above). With a sigh, I’ll set it down.