Heading out for an evening in town, first to dinner then to dance class, I grab a book I bought years ago and have been meaning to read: God-Shaped Hole. I start into it as I'm waiting for the bus. About twenty pages in, I'm getting a bad feeling. By the time I get to town, I'm sure that I'm not going to like this book.
It's a first-person story. I don't like the main character. That isn't necessarily the end of the world. Have you ever read a first-person narrative where the character sets him/herself up as the protagonist, but the author gives you some sort of signal not to believe what you're being told? A turn of phrase, a skewed point of view, a fact dropped into the story that the narrator doesn't realize the significance of--it's a literary throat-clearing, a broad wink. I keep waiting for that signal. I'm not getting it. Oh, dear Lord. The author likes this woman. I'm expected to like her as well, and by extension I'm supposed to care about this idiot she's just met and fallen in love with.
I do not want to have dinner with these people. I have no other book with me, and the public library closes at 5 on Sunday. Ten minutes ago.
Thank goodness for Webster's, our local second-hand book store! For two dollars and tax, I buy an Agatha Christie murder mystery I've never heard of before (Towards Zero) and use it to replace the bunch of pretentious, angst-ridden, pseudo-intellectual twerps I was stuck with.
Now I'm starting to feel bad. Maybe I didn't give these people enough of a chance. Maybe I wasn't in the right mood for this book. Maybe I'll pick it up again in a few weeks.
Maybe I'll enter it in BookCrossing and leave the book out somewhere in the hope that whoever stumbles upon it will appreciate it in ways that obviously I cannot.