Monday, October 03, 2011

And ... It's Another One for the DNF Pile

How many books have you started because they looked interesting only to abandon them a few chapters in because they just ... weren't? Tons? Me, too. A perfect example: My God, What Have We Done? by Susan V. Weiss. I liked the synopsis (this one is taken from Amazon):

In a world afflicted with war, toxicity, and hunger, does what we do in our private lives really matter? Fifty years after the creation of the atomic bomb at Los Alamos, newlyweds Pauline and Clifford visit that once-secret city on their honeymoon, compelled by Pauline's fascination with Oppenheimer, the soulful scientist. The two stories emerging from this visit reverberate back and forth between the loneliness of a new mother at home in Boston and the isolation of an entire community dedicated to the development of the bomb. While Pauline struggles with unforeseen challenges of family life, Oppenheimer and his crew reckon with forces beyond all imagining. Finally the years of frantic research on the bomb culminate in a stunning test explosion that echoes a rupture in the couple's marriage. Against the backdrop of a civilization that's out of control, Pauline begins to understand the complex, potentially explosive physics of personal relationships. At once funny and dead serious, My God, What Have We Done? sifts through the ruins left by the bomb in search of a more worthy human achievement.

The book starts off serious, wordy, and kind of cold, narrated by a heroine who grated on my nerves almost from the moment I "met" her. Weiss writes well enough that I stuck with the story for 30 pages, hoping it would get better. Nope. Even though I found the subject of the atomic bomb interesting, nothing else about the book really grabbed my interest. So, I'm sticking it on the DNF pile and moving on.

Now, I have to admit that I'm getting picky in my old age. And impatient. So, it's quite possible that I didn't give this one enough of a chance. The book gets rave reviews on Amazon, Barnes & Noble and GoodReads. For even more opinions, check out the stops on the book's online tour by clicking here.

Have you read My God, What Have We Done? Does it sound like something you'd be interested in? Did I abandon the book too soon? Any thoughts?

2 comments:

  1. Well, certainly every book doesn't work for everyone, so I'm sorry this one didn't work for you. Thanks for being on the tour!

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  2. Thanks for being part of my book tour. I’m well aware that my novel isn’t for everyone but am pleased that more than a few readers and reviewers have said they were drawn in by the narrative. I suppose one of the challenges in reviewing books is to distinguish between personal taste and literary merit.

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