Sunday, February 24, 2008

Half Broken Things by Morag Joss


Sometimes an author will take a mildly engaging idea for a story and just drag it out to the point of sheer agony. This is what happened to poor Morag Joss when she wrote Half Broken Things. While the book claims to have won the CWA Silver Dagger Award, whatever that is, I actually think the book should have included a silver dagger the reader could use to drive into his or her skull to relieve the pressure brought on by the mind-numbing monotony of reading the cursed thing.
I mean, I "get" it.... Ms. Joss was trying to lead us to believe that the whole thing was simply matter-of-fact, routine. That any of us in the same set of circumstances would have done the exact same things. Wrong! We would have fallen asleep long before anything remotely hair-raising would have happened.
In a 303 page book, the first sign of anything vaguely scandalous appeared on page 242! And don't believe for one second that the first 241 pages were building some sort of climax or intrigue, oh no! I found the whole thing completely predictable.
Perhaps it would make a good Tuesday afternoon movie on Lifetime ... no, I am just grasping now! I suppose I would have enjoyed reading this story if it would have been condensed down to about 90 pages and I was in seventh grade.
Perhaps.
Wait, I think something made me laugh on page ... oh, I can't even look it up because I threw the damn book at some chick who was smacking her gum on the Metro. "Take that!", I said to her. "That is your punishment for annoying me for the last twenty minutes! You have to read Half Broken Things!"
Ha!

4 comments:

bev said...

NPR did an interview with her when the book first came out. She even sounded monotonous! Thanks for sharing. Hope it was a book you checked out from the library. Hate to think you wasted your hard earned dollar to purchase it.

Anonymous said...

Just to correct you on a matter of fact, whoever bored you on NPR talking about Half Broken Things wasn't the author. She hasn't given interviews to NPR on any subject. Yours, Morag Joss

Anonymous said...

An interesting comment made in a gifted english class: "Whoever doesn't like this book cannot think on on a higher level".

Anonymous said...

It's difficult to imagine that stupidity of this magnitude exists. Joss is a superb writer - but hey, she's not able to choose her readers. I've been reading Joss for years; this blogger shouldn't even read books. As to the tone of the piece, meaning specifically the "dagger" comment - a tiny bit of research might have helped the blogger to understand this distinction. But that, of course, would manifest intelligence. Which is clearly not available.