When NOT to read...

I may well have read as many as a dozen books since I last made a "didactic" entry.

But these I am not going to dwell on - what I do want to mention is the ability I have only recently discovered.  And it has taken a number of reading groups and starting analysis before I am able to do this.... But... I can now take a book back to the library (or discard it) BEFORE I HAVE FINISHED READING IT.

There is a book that converted me unapologetically to the school of "life is too short" combined with "so many books, so little time" because it is a convergence of both forces combined with the ability to believe you are capable of better than some authors before I personally could do this.

Time to name and shame, because there is a unique aspect of the book that deserves mention (and I have to be honest, it is not the first) .. Anyway

Stag Party (now turn over) Hen Party (now turn over) by Mike Gayle was the piece of dross in question - I managed to wade through the stag party, which confirmed all my beliefs in the wooden, sexist, male oriented perspectives of the author.  I was ashamed that I bothered with the hundred or more pages - when it came to reading it all again from the back cover bound upside down to read the "female side" I simply could not take any more - I skipped ahead and read the end (I have given up before, but turning to the ending WAS a first!) and it confirmed all my beliefs that Mr Gayle is as sexist as a writer can come and has very little insight to a realistic female take on a situation (then again he does stereotypes so well the same could be said from the male side).

If you want the gimmick of a male/female take on the same story then the fact is Carol Shields did the same thing years ago very well indeed - I think it was "Larry's Party" but maybe it was "Happenstance" - anyway, it really worked (and an acknowledgement of this would have forgiven My Gayle for a lot, but I suspect he believes he has been original here).  This by extreme contrast, was a piece of remarkably rubbishy rubbish - I was looking for light reading, but what I found means I will never pick up anything by Mr Gayle again - I feel sorry for him, the dross he is writing does not speak well for his soul. I respect him for the work he does to write, but I feel sorry for him if he thinks it has any worth.

In my imagination I look forward to someone reading this and telling me which it was - Larry's Party or Happenstance