margaret atwood – lady oracle

so i finally finished reading lady oracle. some books are those that you can’t put down. this was one i couldn’t pick up. for a period of months when given the opportunity to read, i chose to do other things. sometimes consciously, sometimes not. i finally consciously started picking it up again to read in the last two weeks just to be able to finish it and move on.

let me start by saying i really like margaret atwood. she’s probably one of the best writers i’ve read. she’s often very biting and cynical, but that doesn’t tend to color her works negatively. rather, it makes them feel more honest. lady oracle, however, is not her best.

[more=Read more — some spoilers]

the novel is about a writer of crappy romance novels who gets her one big selling book out via an automatic writing experiment. as a result of the sudden fame and attention from spooky new age types, she starts to kind of lose it, and this is the most interesting part of the book. however, she regains her sanity suddenly and unexpectedly. if the her-starting-to-go-off-the-deep-end bit is 100 pages, she comes back in about 10 of those. if not less. this is bothersome.

most of the book is lengthy flashbacks providing background to her current situation but nothing ever really happens in her current situation other than she goes crazy for about 50 pages and then suddenly isn’t anymore. and then the book ands, leaving you with that eh feeling.

beyond that, she’s never very interesting to begin with. she can’t commit to anything or anyone and is never satisfied with her situation, choosing to run from everything, even happiness. the thing this book does best is expound on the ways people can be subtly horrible to each other, which is not a terribly ringing endorsement.

so i’m done with that, and i’ve since moved on to the stars my destination by alfred bester, which was a b-day present from erin. so far i’m liking it quite a bit.






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