Since a lot of you have reasonable cause to believe that I have a personal vendetta against the author [for the record, NO], I am just to say it: I finally read Audrey Niffenegger‘s The Time Traveler’s Wife–and I didn’t like it so much. Meh. I have tried to read this book three times, and my interest and momentum flagged each of those three times. Then, I’d just decided to quit bitchin’ and just read the damned thing. And then, book in my lap, I came across Trish’s review. Then, I decided–again–to quit bitchin’ and just read the damned thing.
And so I read it. Hallelujah. So. Following is the short entry from my notebook:
Am at page 116. I am bored. Slow, dragging. But I’m curious. I am liking the scenes when Henry meets Henry. And I do admire Niffenegger, when I think about how the behind-the-scenes work must have seemed: how she plotted, how she tried to seamlessly weave in all these disparate elements (made even harder with the time-jumping). I wonder if she used index cards. Or Post-it notes, with a pale pink for Clare and a bright yellow for Henry. Maybe she wrote all this chronologically, and just messed it up later on. Maybe, as she wrote the novel the way we’re reading it now, she made shit up as she went along and tacked reminders about subplots. Computing for dates and ages.
Ah, time travel. Something is nagging at me with the whole thing. There’s a hole somewhere. A feeling that there’s something not quite right.
Augh. All this is leading to somewhere that hints at an appalling laziness of the author—is that the solution you’ve come up with, Niffenegger? I want to put it down, but gah, I might as well get it over and done with. A pinch of pages left.
Okay. Done. Didn’t care for the characters at all. They had their moments, but I wasn’t invested in them. Why did I read this again? Why did I keep reading it? Because I did enjoy some parts of it. Mainly how the couple would meet through time and all that jazz. But, well. Meh. I mean, that was an awesome premise. And great potential for Best Love Story Evahr. But Niffenegger slipped somehow. There was that occasionally crassness, a crudeness. A dispassion. I do not care for Henry and Clare. I do not care for Henry and Clare at all.
Two-ish hours later: This didn’t leave a nice feeling. Not the book, but the experience of the book. Thinking about it, thinking about how I’d write about it—just this creepiness stole over me. Augh. Disquieting. And not the good kind of disquiet, not the romantic kind, not the kind you write poems for. Bah.
That last paragraph? I stand by it. I can’t talk about this book because: either 1) it doesn’t inspire me to talk about it, 2) I feel like something smarmy had happened to me and to talk about it would be to relive it, 3) there are no words.
A note on the picture: I took that a year ago, when I was still enamored by the renewed hype brought by the movie version. I have a pretty, dilapidated window sill. Huzzah.