Monday, April 02, 2007

Half Read Reviews

Once you finish a book you have made an investment and like most valuable things you'd like to protect that investment. When the end doesn't live up to your expectations it angers you and makes you think you've wasted your time reading it, but somewhere along the line there was a point before you cared how it would end and were happy just being along for the ride.

An excellent example of this would be Stephens King's "Dark Tower" series. As long as I was just along for the ride I enjoyed it, but when he had found his end for it and started writing to that end it ceased being as fun. Probably because as he's been very vocal about through the years, he didn't know how it was going to end and was just as much along for the ride as we were. There was a change in feel as the characters strove towards that final thankya and for the last three books there was a cloud over their heads as each scene ended with an unspoken good-bye. That's not to say they weren't still good stories but they were the end and with the end comes the judgments, the second guesses and the, "Uh, where's he going with this?" that take you out of the story.

"Half Read Reviews" are an attempt to catch that moment when I go from "along for the ride" to "Uh..." Hopefully they will reveal a perspective that's often overlooked by a need to make judgement on the whole.

It's a bit harsh to do one on the Dark Tower since it's been years since I was at the half way point but I do remember waiting in anticipation for a long time with a fear that he wouldn't finish the story at all and I had already read the ending. I think if I had to it would simply be "Worth the ride!"

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