Saturday, November 10, 2007

The Little Leper That Could... Notes from a Halloween Book Club

Here is a picture from my Halloween book club where, as usual, I made too much food and had over 100 chicken nuggets left to divvy up after all was said and done.   

We read a book called "The Island" by - some chick.   It wasn't good. No - really - it was downright HORRIBLE.  Although some pretended to like it just to be nice which we all know -I'm not.   So here's my tortured review that I wrote for 'The VoiceboxX' with our group pic to follow:

   “Leprechauns?  That sounds great!  I love Irish lore!”  I exclaimed repeatedly as the girls of my book club looked on in disbelief.  I thought nothing of it, however, since they often look at me in shock (could be horror, but I like to think it’s just good ol’ fashioned shock). 

      “Holly?  I said ‘leper colony’ not ‘leprechauns’ – leper colony,” Cindy said as she held up the book.   A woman’s face looked down, her red lips slightly pursed on the cover.  The Island by Victoria Hislop tells the tale of the island of Spinalonga and its leper-filled history.

      However, the book would’ve fared better if it had actually been all about tiny green men guarding their lucky charms and pots of gold.  

      The Island was not poorly written; in fact most of theprose is beautiful and thought provoking and very intelligent.  So intelligent, in fact, that the author felt the need to triplicate every sentence, slightly changing the words so that her Webster’s thesaurus was money well spent. 

       In Hislop’s twisty tome a family is torn apart when a mother is sent to Spinalonga after being diagnosed with leprosy.  The reader is introduced to tragedy after tragedy as this debilitating disease wreaks havocs on bodies and family infrastructure alike.   Not to spoil anything for the unsuspecting reader but the book ends basically when leprosy is cured.  

      Although touted by book clubs all over, I found The Island to be depressing, predictable and over-written at times.   The parts that should have been more detailed were glazed over and the instances that should have taken just that, an instance, were detailed with such excruciating precision that I found myself wishing the characters a quick demise.  The characters tended to be one-dimensional and too many were the spitting image of their elders.  Even on small islands I am pretty sure that genetics would take over and not every beauty would bear a beauty who in turn spawned a pretty carbon copy of herself.   I had to double-check to make sure the island was, in fact, called Spinalonga and not Kinko’s.             

      The first character that the reader is introduced to by Hislop is that of Alexis, great grandchild of Eleni, the leper.  Alexis is searching to put together the pieces of her mother’s past. To be such an integral part of the story, Alexis is reduced to a whiny secondary figure who is mainly troubled by her superficial boyfriend woes.   We are not drawn into her life and care as little about her as we do about the rest of the family by the story’s end.  

      The Island by Victoria Hislop is a book about a painful, disfiguring disease that dictates a horrible time for those affected by it. 

      Unfortunately for Hislop, so is her book.   

Harsh?  Maybe  - but the book was really not something I'd wish upon my worst literal enemy!


I'm the one in the back, grining like an idiot since my best costume idea was a black lambskin jacket of lamb.   Tiffany, the gypsy, to my left, Summer is Beth Cooper from "I Love You Beth Cooper", followed by Melissa as "Dan" the Valedictorian from "Beth Cooper," Karen as Magdalene from "Lamb" and Krista as Maggie #2 from "Lamb."

We had a great time!  Now, I just need to find time to take down the decorations... Maybe I'll just cover the big spiders in christmas lights!   :)



princesssaurora said...

Awww... great fun!

be well,

tenyearnap said...

Oh, I get could dress up from ANY of your book club books. I thought it had to be from the Leper book and that Melissa was a graduate of the Leper colony.

oddb0dkins said...

I'm glad you all had fun, despite the book. What a great idea to dress up as characters.
B. x

gazker said...

Is it still Halloween or are ya'll just dressed up for the club?
Gaz ;-)

beckiepainton said...

i love chicken nuggets, post some to me, ill polish them off!!lol!! Beckie x