One paragraph reviews on art, movies, books, and pop culture by a know-nothing who knows it all

Monday, February 20, 2006

Suck-a Alert

Don't bother reading "The Jane Austen Book Club" by Karen Joy Fowler. It's about -- yes, a fictional Jane Austen book club. Each chapter focuses on an Austen book and a character whose own life somewhat reflects that book. You're thinking, "Sounds interesting! Sounds like "The Hours" by Michael Cunningham!" (who did something like that with Virginia Woolf). Suck-a! I had zip-o interest in these characters, the kind of people who mill about at Star Trek conventions or in the bowels of the Library of Congress. This book fancies itself like "Bel Canto" by Ann Patchett, which I loved: a mainstream book that confidently crosses the line to good literature. Instead, "...Book Club" is more like "The Lovely Bones" by Alice Sebold, which I despised to no end: a book that is (as Ava Gardner once described herself) deep down very superficial.