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Wolf Hall (Thomas Cromwell, #1)
Hilary Mantel
250 Things You Should Know About Writing
Chuck Wendig
War for the Oaks
Emma Bull
Pygmy - Chuck Palahniuk Questing again after the elusive interview.

I'm struggling with the voice a bit. I imagine I'll hit a point where it will click into place and flow a little more smoothly in my head, but right now I'm struggling.

I may have hit a wall with this book relatively early. There was a scene I found disturbing and repulsive, and now I'm in the hands of a narrator who makes my skin crawl. I'll continue, because clearly Palahniuk wants to challenge me, and I don't like to back down from a challenge. But I shall say a heartfelt "Ew!"

Pretending the operatives are extraterrestrials rather than foreign-born terrorists is helping me swallow some of the narrative a little better.

But then Dispatch Fifth just pissed me off. I'm starting to wonder if this book isn't all just a big joke on the sycophantic fanboys (and grrls) who praise Palahniuk's every bowel movement as pure genius, like he said, "Let me throw in every depraved thing I can think of and watch them lap it up. Fucking losers." Well I'm not lapping it up, Palahniuk. In fact, I think it's kind of crap and I'd much rather be reading one of your earlier works instead -- you know, from back when you were still a writer and a storyteller and didn't have your head shoved up your own ass.

Alas, I suspect I'll continue because there are glimmers of something here, and it's early yet, and I'm hopeful I may yet uncover something golden.

5.12.09 The plot unfolds. I think this must be the most incompetent group of revolutionaries ever. Even worse than the ones in Che, Part Two. So, they're infiltrating American culture with no knowledge of said culture? Again I return to the hypothesis that they must be aliens rather than foreign nationals, because that's the only way the plot makes any friggin' sense.

6.7.09 Done! That three-star rating is really more like 3.5. There were parts that infuriated me, parts that grossed me the fuck out, parts that made me laugh (the vibrator attacking the science fair), but the ending left me saying, "Eh." Good message -- prejudice and hatred is based on lies, and if we get to know someone from a group we don't understand, then they start becoming people instead of the Other. But the execution was flawed. The ending was rushed and lacked the emotional punch it should have had, perhaps because the pidgin was a barrier to ever engaging with the book on an emotional level. I like books that make me feel something. This one didn't do that (except for some early revulsion), although it was entertaining enough. I'm just left thinking, "Eh. Could've been better."