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

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

"Gone" by Michael Grant

Here's a book that would make a great movie. That's not necessarily an insult, but it's not breathless approval, either. It means Gone has an intriguing premise and plenty of action, but reading it doesn't require deep thought (or even much shallow thought) and it doesn't have much in the way of character development.

This is the idea behind the book: One normal November day in Perdido Beach, California, students at the local school are shocked to see everyone over the age of fourteen disappear in an instant. Gone is the story of how a town full of children deals with a new life of sudden anarchy. Oh, and matters are complicated when some of the kids discover that they have superpowers . . .

So. Nice story idea, but I found myself a bit indifferent to the result. It didn't help that this book never reached critical mass. In fact, I put it down last night with only twenty pages to go, if that tells you anything. But don't start thinking I'm trying to say this book was horrible, because it wasn't. I didn't have to choke it down, and it wasn't boring. I bet those who love YA and dystopian fiction would find this a good one, but I suppose it's just not my thing. I would describe it as fun and superficial. Not that I have anything against fun! I like fun. But while I'm OK with movies that are pure fun, I appreciate a bit more meat when I'm choosing books.

I have a feeling lots of rabid fans (and maybe even the rest of the girls in my book club) will be shocked to hear this, but I'm only minimally interested in what happens throughout the rest of the series. I was curious enough that I read a brief outline of the plots, but not interested enough to buy (or even borrow) the subsequent books and actually *read* them. There are far too many other books that sound more interesting to me. I'll leave the remainder of this series to people who are younger than I am.


mummazappa said...

I've got a copy of this on my shelf that I picked up because a friend recommended it as a great read, but then I read the comments that the author wrote on another blogger's post that got super snarky and superior and he came across as such a jerk that it really put me off reading him. But then, we all have bad days so maybe I shouldn't really judge the book by its author.... Fun and superficial really fits the bill sometimes!

Lesa said...

Hmm, this one I really liked and didn't find it superficial-- in fact, as I read it, I kept thinking of it as a more interesting Lord of the Flies. (and I'm way older than you-- you old fuddy duddy!) heehee

Kathy said...

Wow, Zap, that makes me hope Grant never comes across this blog post. ;) I'd say try the book someday anyway, especially since you already have a copy. Maybe it will fit your bill better than it did mine! :)

Lesa--funny, Lord of the Flies never even crossed my mind while I was reading this! But I liked LOTF. It's probably been 25 years since I read it, but I don't remember thinking it was boring at all. (Not that you said it was boring, but I just assumed, since you implied it was less interesting than Gone.) As for you being older, I feel like I've aged decades in the past few months. I think I'm older than you now.