25 March, 2012

Not At All Funny

Jonathan Ames

Talking with JAG a little while ago about books i’ve read and not enjoyed, and i came to the conclusion that this one was tedious; i’m glad to have worked that out, because i have been thinking about how to write this review, as i tend to while reading, and i have wanted to be clear about what i like or don’t like (much more of the latter, i fear) in the book.

You have, at the Powys library system, four weeks on a book loan and, as i actually began to read this one (the first few paragraphs, anyway) in the library prior to borrowing it, and as it was five days late in being returned, it is clear that i struggled for thirtytwo days before finally finishing it this morning. To be honest, i probably read about half of it this morning over my coffee, before JAG got up and we got on with the day. That is not good for a book of less than four hundred pages.

I really have given this some thought ~ as i tried to find myself reasons not to pick up the thing and finish it! ~ and i think that the basis of my lack of enjoyment is to be found in the mismatch between mine experience and mine expectations based on both the title and, more importantly, the cover quotes which largely consisted of the word “Hilarious” from a half dozen American papers. I was expecting, then, a very funny read, clearly along the lines of a Wodehouse, since there is a valet called Jeeves as a central character. What i actually experienced was slow, not at all funny (until the last quarter, at best), self-indulgent by both the author and the protagonist, and just not worth it. Such a disappointment, and that emotion will completely cover any interest i may have in another book by this Ames, who seems to be relatively successful, so that, on the basis of this one, i will clearly not ever pick up another. Great pity that neither of us have been well served by this experience.

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