The Teleportation Accident by Ned Beauman
My rating: 2 of 5 stars
An Apologia for Lemming
Life is too short. There are too many books that will be amazing reads. They are physically on my shelf, staring at me.
This is not one of them.
I've been on Goodreads for a few years now. Seven, to be exact. In that time, I have not lemmed a book. Not a single one. Oh, I've crawled my way through some real duds. I've persevered through some that started slow and ended strong. I've appreciated some for their fabulous writing, even when I might not fully understand what's happening. And others I've liked for a rip-roaring plot, though the writing was pedestrian.
I am proud that I haven't yet lemmed a book.
Today, I swallow my pride.
Maybe it's because I've been reading some fantastic fiction and non-fiction lately. Maybe it's because I have more writing projects than ever before. Maybe it's because I know that college football season is coming up and I will watch TV again (no, I have not watched one TV show since last football season - I just don't watch much TV) and not have as much time to read. Maybe it's because I have Joyce and Proust and Nabakov waiting for me . . .
. . . but I just could not get into this book. Yes, the writing is good, even brilliant in places. But the characters - I could not even take enough interest in them to be able to differentiate one from another. Besides, their social brand of hedonism left me feeling, well, bored. Many of my Goodreads friends have written reviews praising this work, friends that I hold in high regard and whose advice I've followed with much success and joy in reading.
At this party, though, I am simply sitting in the corner, falling asleep.
It's been a long night, all 40 pages of it.
In the past, I've scoffed at reviews where someone has said in essence, "I didn't finish the book, but I'm giving it a rating anyway". I thought "How can you justify that as a 'review'? You have to have read the book to have reviewed it!" Truth is, I'll probably go on feeling that same way, most of the time.
But not this time.
I'm done with this book. I didn't finish it. And I'm rating it. 40 pages was enough. That's 40 pages I could have been reading, or writing, something much better.
Yes, for this moment, I am swallowing my pride and lemming this book.
I'm feeling pretty good about that. On to better things. Life is too short. There are too many great books out there to tolerate mediocrity. Viva excellence!
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