I FINALLY FINISHED IT.
It took me close to six weeks, pretty much the longest a book has taken me in easily two years (possibly since I read Harry Potter and the Deathly Hollows in second grade).
The beginning is really good. The last 100 pages are tear-inducing and powerful.
It’s the 400 pages in between that made me consider giving up on it.
I don’t really know what else to say. It’s heavily historical and the author’s writing style definitely takes some getting used to. (Long sentences and high vocabulary words. It’s like studying for the SATs with minor plot in the background.)
I wish Chabon had stuck more to the heart of the story (comic books) which took up most of the beginning and ending of the novel (the parts I enjoyed). However, he brought WWII into the plot for, like, 200 pages (at least that’s what it felt like) and the plot I cared about totally vanished.
It has been pointed out to me that I’m not the “target audience” of the book. Whatever. I’ve read a ton of books I wasn’t the target audience of. I don’t believe in target audiences. I don’t read one genre or age group or plot line. That would be boring. That would probably get as close to killing my love as reading as is humanly possible.
This book was recommended to me, I read it, I learned a lot about comic books, life in the 1930s-1950s, and how to read a book where an entire page can be one paragraph, possibly only a few sentences.
So screw target audiences. I believe that the reason I didn’t enjoy the book is because of the writing style and the course the plot took, not because of some arbitrary assignment of age/gender to the envisioned reader. The best books I’ve read were good when I was ten years old and my grandmother loves them when she is in her seventies. I’ve read books way to old for me and enjoyed ones way too young for me. I fall in love with stories, not genres or demographics. Books I read in fourth grade will hopefully follow me to college. That’s what I love about reading.
I will definitely be taking a popcorn chicklit break though. I need some light reading.