Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Heroes being Heroes?

I just finished a book. Should I tell you who and what? I always feel hesitant to do so. Okay, it’s Cause Celeb, by Helen Fielding.

Anyway, it was disturbing, because it didn’t quite work. It’s not just that it didn’t work for me, but it didn’t work for the public when it came out, according to the author.

Sadly, I can see that.

I have to insert here that it’s worth a read, however. I sat down with the author’s statement in my mind, with an eye to trying to figure out why it didn’t work. If one sits down with the idea of having a good read, then I think this book will fulfill your needs and more.

I mean, everything about it was right. It was a fresh, original idea. Great characters, true to life. Technically, she didn’t miss a beat, didn’t make any mistakes. Everything was right! It was perfect! Interesting! Not quite as funny as the following two books, but great!

But it didn’t quite send me into enthusiastic raves, even with all the good ingredients.

For the life of me, I have absolutely no idea why. That’s the most disturbing thing. I think it’s the main character. See, she’s in a profession (aid worker) that one might call admirable, and yet, several times throughout the book she kinda puts down people’s admiration of her.

That is TOTALLY true to character. She was kind of being humble about it, which should have been endearing.

But I admire her occupation, so she was putting down ... um, me. Which leads me to heroes in admirable professions.

How does one make the hero appropriately humble so as not to be annoying, but not ... inappropriately humble?

I’m not making any sense about this, am I?

Considering this book touches a little close to my latest plot, I’m concerned. Perhaps the trick is to not address the issue at all. I really don’t know. Can you make heads or tails of this post? Any advice? Thoughts? Clarity on the issue?

Or maybe it wasn’t so much the character, as there were too many ingredients. England, celebrities, dating, men, Africa, refugees, UN. Maybe it was the mixture of humor--not quite enough to make it humorous--with the heavy subject. Or the fact that the celebrities were mostly flat, and all annoying. No growth.

I don’t know! I hate when I don’t know something. And if you’re reading this as a review, I apologize, because I do think it’s a good, enjoyable read.

6 bonus scribbles:

Rhonda Stapleton 5/30/2007 06:51:00 AM  

Wow, I haven't read it, but it sounds...awkward in a way. I might have to check it out so I can see what you mean!

spyscribbler 5/30/2007 10:20:00 AM  

I sure would appreciate it. It is worth a read. I'm just trying to figure out what didn't quite work, so I don't make the same mistake! Because if I don't figure it out, I'm sure I will, LOL!

Kate S 5/30/2007 10:32:00 AM  

Thanks for the review. Now I want to read it just to see and learn. (Well, I hope I learn!) :)

Therese 5/30/2007 10:48:00 AM  

This is so interesting--I have the book, and tried to read it, but put it down in short order.

I'll have to take another look and see if I can add anything to your assessment...

avery 5/30/2007 11:14:00 AM  

I wouldn't worry about your story. Just think of how you react when someone praises you and work from there. For me, it's a mixture of guilty pleasure and severe discomfort that makes me want to change the subject as quickly as possible. Maybe that's the kind of reaction the author was going for, but was too conscious of trying to convey that and caused it to sound forced. Of course, all this speculation would be better backed-up if I'd have read the story.

spyscribbler 5/30/2007 05:21:00 PM  

Kate and Therese, please do pop by and tell me what you think, if you do read it. I'm sure you guys would see something!

Avery, maybe, LOL. I think she was just trying to make the character real. And the character acted exactly like she would in real life.

I just can't figure out why it didn't seem to work. Ah well. I hate my limitations, LOL.