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Booking Through Thursday

What was the most unusual (for you) book you ever read? Either because the book itself was completely from out in left field somewhere, or was a genre you never read, or was the only book available on a long flight… whatever? What (not counting school textbooks, though literature read for classes counts) was furthest outside your usual comfort zone/familiar territory?
And, did you like it? Did it stretch your boundaries? Did you shut it with a shudder the instant you were done? Did it make you think? Have nightmares? Kick off a new obsession?


I'd have to say that one of the most unusual books I ever read, and not in a good way, was Lucky Billy, by John Vernon. It features the life (and death) of the famous outlaw. I do read historical fiction, but not books set in the American west, so I thought this would be a new and welcome change.

Wrong.

Vernon's fictional treatment of the story was so disjointed and confusing that I stopped reading about 100 pages in. He kept switching back and forth between narrators, which was also very confusing. So yes, I shut the book with a shudder--of relief. It was so bad that I didn't want to burdern you all with a review of it, since there wasn't much to say, anyways. I received the book through Amazon Vine, and I now know that I need to be more careful when I make my ARC selections there!

Comments

bookchronicle said…
Do you usually prefer more linear narrative? Or was it just that the narrative was so poorly done?
Meghan said…
That's a shame. I was going to say that you shouldn't let it prevent you from reading other historical fiction about the American west, but since I can't think of any I've read myself outside of a few set around the Oregon trail, I'm not sure if I can say that. Hmm.
Smilingsal said…
Sometimes you must be "in the mood" to read something with a bit of a challenge. It was good to stop reading; perhaps one day you'll try it again.
Matt said…
Now this reminds me of The House Made of Dawn by Mommaday. I was so confused that I had to put the book aside. Maybe I wasn't in the right mood.
I am new to getting arcs and it is hard to choose because you are so excited that you are going to get books but then when it comes to reading them. Yeah that sucks.

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