Monday, November 19, 2012

The Lovely Bones

The Lovely Bones

Occasionally I read a book simply because it is popular.
More often than not, this is a bad decision.
Such is the case with The Lovely Bones, by Alice Sebold.


I purchased a copy of this book (not the cover pictured here) at a resale shop much like Goodwill.
The book was maybe $2.50, so I knew it wasn't an irrational purchase.
Besides, it was a book. -shrugs-

When I finally got around to reading it, I had a difficult time getting into it because of the subject matter.
Susie Salmon, fourteen, was raped and murdered in the cornfield behind her house and her body, of course, was not found. Her murderer was one of the men who lived in the neighborhood, but obviously she's dead, she can't tell them that. But what Sebold does is create a kind of heaven where Susie can observe everything going on down on earth; essentially, she receives a special gift in that she can see how her family gets along without her.
Of course, it's hard to see how this is a gift since her family is so obviously heartbroken and they make some horrible decisions because of it, like her mother having an affair with the detective on the case. (Personally, I found that so stupid of a plot line and I almost stopped reading at that point.)


The premise of the story is intriguing. Let's be honest here. Most people probably would love to see how their families and friends get along on earth without them, whether they died naturally or were brutally murdered, or whatever. But that's not what heaven is about. It's quite obvious that Sebold isn't a Christian, but that's not what bothered me the most about this book. I can handle that.

What bothered me the most is basically the fact that this book got published at all. Yeah, that's extreme, but the writing is so appalling and choppy and...oh man, it's bad. Points of view get all jumbled up, there's no clear frame of time in which anything happens, etc. Sebold's descriptions are pretty awful, too. I was mentally editing this book as I was reading it, that's how bad it was.

And by the end of the book, I came to the conclusion that the only purpose for Susie's hanging around in her heaven-that-touched-earth for so long was so that her friends could grow up and Ruth could swap bodies with her so she could sleep with the boy who kissed her shortly before her death. It was super weird and I still don't know how I felt about that. Actually, I do know. It was incredibly shallow and of course shouldn't have surprised me in today's sex-crazed world.


I can't give this book anymore than one star. It was so bad, really. It could have been awesome. It had potential. But no. It sucked majorly. Let me re-write it and then maybe it'd be a little better. :P

No comments:

Post a Comment