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Friday, January 24, 2014

Book Review: The Source, by James A. Michener

The SourceThe Source by James A. Michener
My rating: 1 of 5 stars

Maybe I picked the wrong Michener book to start with. It did not work for me on several levels.

First, his characters were almost one-dimensional, they were so flat. The reader is expected to fill in the gaps in all the relationships: feelings of animosity or chemistry and attraction between characters really isn't depicted. You just have to assume that it is there.

Second, okay, I know I only got into it like 100 pages, but everything I saw was told instead of shown. Bo-ring. I learned that one in 8th grade.

Third, what I thought was going to be a really fascinating story about an archeological dig was wham-bam-thank-you-ma'am over in a couple of chapters. I thought that was going to BE the entire book. Instead, it turns out it was just a setup for the actual book, which takes each of the artifacts they conveniently found in a matter of a few short pages and then turns each of those into their own section, a moment in history that is then fleshed out for us to see how the artifact lived in its original life.

So I don't disagree with that idea as a literary device--actually, it seems pretty cool--but the lead-up was so disappointing that I felt like it'd fallen flat before the "story" even began. And it started with cave men. Seriously? I just felt like I was stuck in a BC comic strip. It was too hokey. I found myself dreading picking up the book each time and repeating to myself, "It will turn around soon, just give it time, it will get better," and then one day I said, "Know what? Uh-uh. Not worth it."

If you think I am away off base then tell me which Michener book I should read instead. At this point I don't know whether I will take your advice seriously or not, but hey, at least you could feel better knowing you tried to convert me to Michener's fan club.

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