Before I go on and on let me be clear. I liked this astoundingly creative and inspired book a lot. Also, by reading it I felt initiated into a circle of smarty-pants who finds this philosophical smart funny stuff funny.
Seriously though, 5 books of the series all in one volume were a little hellacious. It felt like being forced to eat a whole big container of popcorn when you had enough after two handfuls. I liked it but not so much of it that I couldn’t put it down. So much was happening (Earth is destroyed; no it isn’t; we find out who created the Earth and why and that’s just 3 of the 1000 stories that dance psychedelically across the pages. Wait, I have another analogy. At times I felt like the sober person stuck in a room with a blabbering tripping person whose stories’ ability to hold my attention waxes and wanes. So that’s why I’m counting this book as 2 books. Besides that it’s poetic for this book to land on #42 because. Because you know the answer if you read the book. I can’t explain it. If I tried you’d just shake your head and wince a little.
500 pages into the book and I can’t read another page.
I decide right then and there to move the dining room from the kitchen to the formal dining room that I’d been using for an office. I disassemble and move and reassemble and sweep and mop and throw things away.
Then I moved all the other furniture in the living room around, cleaned the refrigerator, and cooked dinner. After that I spent many hours HOLDING the book while watching Orphan Black, Kitchen Nightmares, Devious Maids, Nurse Jackie on On Demand.
I just don’t want to open the book up. I just don’t. So I carry it here and there and read a few pages and a few more and make it to page 550.
A student comes by my office and asks how the book is going.
I’m stuck, I say. I want to care but these characters are faceless to me, they’re scurrying across time and space and I’m hoping one of them explodes soon. Or something happens. Because there’s too much but then there’s nothing, it’s chaos.
He nods. What part of the book are you on?
I start to answer then…. I can’t. I’d have to have the book in front of me to know. I passed the mice, the whale thing, the towel part and Marvin the robot just did a bad thing.
He nods. Keep reading.
I finish the book and feel like I tackled something big. This is a great book and if you want a big fat book to keep you busy for a month (or a long long weekend) you won’t regret taking this book with you because you can put it down, pick it up, put it down. And it doesn’t make you cry. That’s a bonus. Other books I’ve read have held me so rapt that I wanted to scream at anyone interrupting my journey through the story. I cried through the last 10 pages of The Book Thief. I sobbed in my daughter’s arms after finishing the Fault in Our Stars. I read parts of Unwind to people and quoted Tina Fey for days. I cried 10 times during The Shack -- silent, hot tears of grief and joy.
I loved those books, and most of the other books I’ve read because they moved me.
I liked this book.
Now that I’m done I don’t want to write anything (and OH the grading I have to do, and the file moving stuff for an online mandate and that kind of fun) I want a book to love.