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infinitejoe

Infinite Joe

I like challenging books that make you think, and leave you happy that you did. Typically, I find character driven literary fiction the most satisfying, although I in no way think of myself as a serious literary critic.

Currently reading

Unaccustomed Earth
Jhumpa Lahiri
Progress: 282/333 pages

A Dirty Job: A Novel

A Dirty Job - Christopher Moore I do believe I am turning (have turned) into a book snob. With a few exceptions here and there, I find myself more frequently eschewing contemporary forms of fiction, and leaning towards the Literary Fiction genre, which I feel somewhat uncomfortable and conflicted about, seeing as how I don’t have an MFA or even an English degree for that matter, which I feel makes me look like a bit of a book-poser because how can I understand what these authors are trying to say if I haven’t been taught how to understand it? I don't know how I got to this place, and yes I'm a bit embarrassed about it, but that's where I am. When I read a book these days, if I don’t think to myself multiple times, “See? That passage (or sentence or chapter) right there, which I would never in a million years be able to come up with on my own, and which blew me away, is why I could never be a successful writer”, then that book really doesn’t do much for me. See? A snob. Or maybe a snoot. Take your pick.

Anyway, I didn’t have the above thought once in this book, which I probably wasn’t expected to, seeing as how it was “comic fantasy” or something like that, and I tried to keep this in mind, but it still just kind of fell flat for me. I think the biggest reason was that I didn’t connect with the supposed humor. I felt it was sitcommy and madlibby, like I could hear the canned laughter in the background after one of the characters delivered yet another forced analogy or half-witted zinger.

I guess the best thing I could say about this book is that the story itself was moderately entertaining. I just couldn't get past the James Patterson-ish brevity of description and scene, and the strained attempts at humor. Maybe his other stuff is better. I might never know.