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The Shawnee News-Star
  • "Winter's Tale" just left me cold

  • You ever read a book you really don’t care for, but then you can’t stop thinking about it and how much you dislike it?
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  • You ever read a book you really don’t care for, but then you can’t stop thinking about it and how much you dislike it?
    That’s sort of where I am. After almost five months, I finally finished “Winter’s Tale,” and I breathed a sigh of relief and thought, “Well, I’ll never touch that book again.” Only, to my annoyance, I can’t stop thinking about just what it is I don’t like, and trying to research what the darn thing was about (only to find no one else seems to know either).
    Some books you don’t like, and it seems everyone out there agrees with you. If you don’t like “Twilight” or “Eragon,” for example, there is a whole army of people out there to issue a hearty “Amen!”
    “Winter’s Tale” is not one of those books. Instead, it’s one of those books that has person after person writing, “This is one of my favorite books of all time!” or “This book changed my life!”
    Which just makes me wonder, “Did we really read the same book?”
    Even more puzzling are the reviews that say things like, “This book was so beautiful! I don’t really know what I just read, but I loved it!”
    OK, we definitely just read the same book. Only, for me, beautiful writing doesn’t cut it, especially when I finish a book and don’t really know what it was about. Add in so-so character development, inconsistent world building, poor pacing, vague metaphors, and a story that rambles seemingly with no purpose, and I just really don’t see how beautiful writing alone can somehow make up for all that.
    I have to agree with one reviewer who said the novel was a perfect example of how an author could be a wonderful writer but a terrible novelist.
    Oddly, I find myself also at odds with the movie reviews, which are overwhelmingly bad. As a rule, I think books are better than their movies. But every once in a while, usually with a book I don’t care for, a movie comes along that impresses me more than its book (I’m looking at you, “Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone”). “Winter’s Tale” is one of those rare creatures: loved the movie, hated the book.
    Well, to each his own, I suppose.

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