[Note: This is a three part book review! Donna (at Heron There & Everywhere) and Deborah (at The Reading Chick) have also posted reviews of the book. Please go visit them, both because they are awesome bloggers and because they have different views of the book so you can see how three different people liked/didn’t like the book. Also, they are much better about getting blog posts done than me and both of them were all finished and had their posts scheduled while I was sitting on a boat and drinking wine. I am bad at responsibility some days.]
A few years ago, someone pointed out to me that over the course of a lifetime, we only get to read so many books. I read about 52 books each year. Let’s say I live another 40 years, that means I am only going to get to read 2,080 more books. If I only get so many books, I want to make sure I’m reading books I like. This means that if I don’t like a book, I stop reading it.
Which is why you’re about to get a review of a book I didn’t finish. Because I really, really did not like Kulti, the first book we’re doing for this Blog Book Club.
I’m pretty sure that if you’re in a blog book club like this, not finishing a book – especially the first ever book you’re reading for the club – is at the top of the list of “things not to do.” So I really gave it a chance – much more of a chance than I would have given had I picked it up on my own.
I had downloaded the Kindle version, so when I was about 10% of the way through and struggling mightily to read it, I downloaded the audiobook in the hopes that forced listening while walking Choppy would get me to the part of the book where it gets good. I got about 20% of the way through using that, and I gave up. The idea of reading over 400 MORE pages of a book I just immensely disliked from almost the first page was more than I could take.
Actually, that’s a good place to start. There are VERY few books which should be 570 pages long. One of my major pet peeves with books is that they are far too long for what they have to say. It’s the “Half as Long” theory of writing.
I mean, at least when you get to the end of The Old Man and the Sea and you go “that was dumb,” you’ve only wasted 108 pages of your life (and at least you wasted that time on a Pulitzer winning book that almost certainly led to the awarding of the Nobel Prize to Ernest Hemingway). [Note: As you can see from the length of this review, I need to take my own advice.]
I read more pages of Kulti than there are pages in The Old Man and the Sea, and for as little that happens in The Old Man and the Sea, even less was happening in Kulti. Ugh. To summarize everything that had happened up until that point in the book, let me give you a list:
That’s it. Nothing. Nothing had happened. In over 100 pages of the book.
At least Santiago had caught a fish.
So, that about sums it up for plot.
As for the characters, I disliked both the main characters. Sal, the main character, is a professional soccer player. And that’s the Only. Thing. About. Her. The only thing worse than a one note character? A one note character whose one note happens to be a sport that I find incredibly boring. And clearly, she wasn’t being saved as a one note character by the plot, because as noted above, there wasn’t one. Or at least, there wasn’t one during the 100+ pages I read. I suspect a love story develops after that, but it wasn’t there in the pages I read.
Even supposing a love story developed, this Kulti character who was the other main character – a former professional soccer player who is the assistant coach of Sal’s team, which is an entirely unrealistic situation (don’t get me started on this) – wasn’t going to make me enjoy it. At least I knew Sal had a childhood crush on Kulti (because there were numerous, long passages telling me all about her childhood crush on the man – do NOT get me started on those either, because you know what? I only need to read something like this once, not the numerous times in the first 100 pages that I got to read about it, and I certainly don’t need to rehash it yet again here). Kulti himself had ZERO personality, unless “silent dude in the corner” is a personality. Ugh. He certainly wasn’t going to keep me interested in the book.
Eventually, I just couldn’t bring myself to read or listen to another page, and I put the book down. A few times, I considered picking it back up, but the idea of reading any more of it – even with two other people counting on me to do so – was more than I could stand.
And so, I guess I can’t give a real review. The book might get awesome – clearly, Deborah and Donna liked it, and it has zero 1 star reviews on Amazon – but I don’t know if it does. It was SOOOOO SLOW and the characters were so boring and uninteresting to me. I just couldn’t keep reading it.