Give me books, fruit, french wine and fine weather and a little music out of doors. --John Keats

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

"The Monsters of Templeton" by Lauren Groff

This book was an impulse buy at Target. Somehow the kids and I always end up in the book section and we always end up each buying a book. I'm sure the cover of this book caught my eye, but when I read the back about how "a prehistoric moster surfaces..." (they don't tell you it's already dead!) and how the main character "puts her archaeological skills to work digging for the truth" (they don't tell you it's library research rather than field work!) I ended up with a very different idea of how this book was supposed to be.

Not only was I under a misconception about this book's content, but I did not like any of the characters. I did not like the way they looked, I did not like the way they behaved, I did not like the way they thought and spoke, and in general I did not feel a connection with any of them. There was only one character I found slightly likeable (Clarissa) and even she was not someone I really wanted to spend much time with. It was all the more surprising to me to read the "interview with the author" at the end and find that two of my least favorite characters (the main character and her mother) were loved by the author because one was "so wacky and strange" (which to me seemed like an unnecessary and forced quirkiness, mixed in with a deliberate unattractiveness) and the other, a character who I had no respect for, had "the most in common" with the author.

In my opinion, the book's one possible redeeming quality was the interest generated by the interconnecting historical stories, but not enough interest was generated that I would ever want to read the book again.

I regret contributing to this book's position on the New York Times Bestseller list. I will be donating my copy to my local library. They need the help anyway. And now... you will probably read this book and love it. There is something to be said for low expectations; they are easy to exceed.

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