#FirstImpressionFriday: A Spot of Bother

8:30:00 PM


As the author of The Curious Incident of the Dog in Night-Time, Mark Haddon's reputation precedes him. But it wasn't the author's name that drew me to this novel, but the cover. In a sea of book spines on a shelf, this vibrant teal and unique font caught my eye, and the rest, as they say, is history.

As someone who DNF The Curious Incident, I felt a little strange committing to a second book, unsure if I would feel the same way about this one (although it has a completely different premise). I almost felt a little guilty for reading another of his books without having finished the other one - like the books talk to each other or something. Now that we've established that I'm officially losing it, we can move on to First Impressions.

Obviously I was drawn to both the book cover, but the premise, about a nice, albeit boring, retired guy dealing with the antics of his crazy family, (while simultaneously not dealing with the "spot" he finds on his hip) is what really clinched it for me. I imagined the zany antics of a dysfunctional family, and that's pretty much what I got. But I found myself missing the humor that typically goes along with such a story.

I got rather frustrated as I progressed through the first 118 pages (as far as I've gotten) because I didn't feel anything but sorry for each of the characters, who are so completely clueless about what is going on in each other's lives. It's very much a portrayal of a modern family who cares for one another, but who are so wrapped up in their own lives, they forget to consider what is going on in everyone else's.

There's nothing inherently bad about the book, but I found it a little lackluster. At the time of this post, I've abandoned the book for other reads (my library books were calling!) and I'm not sure if I'll pick it up again anytime soon. I used to put a lot of pressure on myself to finish books, even if I wasn't enjoying them, partly because I'm stubborn and partly because I don't feel like I can talk to people about a book if I haven't "really read it," but I've gotten more relaxed about this in recent years. With a busy schedule and a sea of books TBR, I'd rather be reading something I'm excited about.

What's your stance on not finishing books? Do you feel book guilt like me, or are you a remorseless DNF-er? Let me know down below, and happy Friday!

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