Knowing When to Stop

So while I haven’t been writing – I have been reading.  I went on a backpacking trip and took 2 books with me – Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close (a title I can never get right without looking at) by Jonathan Safran Foer and Wicked by Gregory Maguire.

I enjoyed the first book – in some ways it reminded me of The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Nighttime because part of the book was the graphic design, the way the words were on the page, and the visual clues to the narrator. It was a fable as much as a story of grief, and healing. Oskar lost his father in the World Trade Towers on 9/11, and after finding a mysterious key he embarks upon a journey to discover what the key opens. This is another book where the plot is incidental in some ways, the story is in the journey, and there is no special Hollywood ending. For those who enjoyed Curious Incident, or Life of Pi, or Peace Like a River, this is an easy book to recommend.
The second book was Wicked. And this is where the knowing where to stop comes in. First as a disclaimer, I have never been a fan of the Wizard of Oz – book or movie (which I have never seen in its entirety). I did not like this book. I didn’t hate it with throw across the room vengeance, but I wasn’t necessarily enjoying it either. Here is how much: we left when I still had about 100 pages left. I didn’t finish it. When you have invested that much time in a book, usually you finish it. Nope, couldn’t bother. And I wouldn’t have kept reading past the first 50 pages if I had ANY other options, but I was limited. (I did have an audio book but that is a different post.) It wasn’t Maguire wither because I could recognize a well done story with quality writing, I just didn’t care. I am sure this is about my dislike of the original, and if you liked Wizard of Oz I think this is a worthy go around. But certainly not my taste. Convince me otherwise – what did I miss?

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