I only managed to finish 2 books this month, one of which I didn’t even start this month. It’s a pretty poor effort but reading non-fiction always slows down my reading, especially anything scientific as I struggle to get my head round it. This leaves me just on track for my minimum yearly goal of 40 books but behind on my sort of secret goal of 52. I’m back onto fiction now so hopefully I’ll be spending ahead agan soon.
Endgame: The Calling by James Frey*
I’m just going to start off by acknowledging that I now know that James Frey is a controversial figure and that understandably some people have chosen not to read anything written by him. I didn’t know that when I was asked to review this and I haven’t taken that into account in this review, as I believe it’s important to stay subjective.
So onto the book, this caused a stir in the literary world as it has a rather strange premise (read masterful marketing ploy). Hidden throughout the book is a series of clues, which can lead you to a physical hunt, where you can find real life gold coins. Over the series of the 3 books this amounts to $1.8m. The first price of $500,000 has already been claimed and was hidden in a treasure chest in Las Vegas.
Unfortunately, while a great idea, it ‘s badly executed. Frey hired professional puzzle masters to write and add the puzzles to his book (as if that’s someone’s job!) but the result is pretty awful. There are seemingly random numbers shoehorned in all over the place. Pages that look like this 2322343432984834893743742.3493i409234902.38492 happen often (and trust me they are much longer than that) are annoying as hell.
As for the actual story, it’s an over complicated dystopian novel with far too many characters. The idea is that a bunch of teenagers have been trained since birth to compete in Endgame, but no one has ever been called until now. Now the world’s going to end and only one teenager can win, thus saving their own community when the aliens (no, really) kill off the planet. While some of the characters do have some interesting points there are just far too many of them and I found most of their dialog and actions ridiculous. Almost every character teams up with someone they fancy from the opposite sex even though they keep banging on about how they’ve been trained not to do this their whole lives, yet they all do it. The actual story is ridiculous and overly complicated.
However the worst part has to be the writing, it’s just so poor. It’s written as if it’s been pushed through google translate and it.is,written.like.this.a.lot.with.full.stops.every.word which gets really annoying really fast. The action scenes are so over explained that they were actually really boring and the characters repeat ‘This is Endgame’ so often that I actually began to laugh when I saw it. Frankly you couldn’t pay me to read any more books in this series, well maybe that hidden $1.8m.
The God Delusion by Richard Dawkins
I always struggle to review this kind of non-fiction, especially in this instance because, although I would call myself an atheist, I don’t agree with a lot of Dawkins ideals. In short, I was a little disappointed with this book. At times I really enjoyed it but I often found myself tuning out and not taking everything in, I don’t know if this is just me being dumb or it’s inability to hold my attention is the fault of the book. I thought it would be more evidence based and less philosophical.
If you want to keep up with what I’m reading don’t forget to follow me on Goodreads. What’s the best book you’ve read this month?
*this book was sent to me for review, if you ever want proof that I am completely honest in reviews I’m sure this one covers it!