August 11, 2007

how could you miss someone as dumb as this?Books make my reading list for a variety of reasons – maybe I liked an author’s previous work, had a recommendation from a friend or critic, or just heard the premise and thought it was interesting.  Some of these methods have better results than others.  With Jane Rogers’ Island, I learned an important lesson – reading a book because I’m amused by the the main characters’ names is even less effective than judging a book by its cover. Island failed to grab my attention at any point.  The narrator is relentlessly self-pitying, and comes across as overwrought at best, and Michael Scott trying to be dramatic at worst.  Jane Rogers is apparently well-regarded as an author, but after 100 pages I saw no reason to keep going, and I gave up on this one.

The complete works of Alistair MacLeod are collected in two volumes, No Great Mischief and Island.  Consequently, he’s written both a better book called Island, and a better book in which a main character is named Calum.  Read either, or preferably both of them, and forget about this one.


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