Search This Blog

Tuesday 25 October 2022

Still Life by Sarah Winman


This is the most tedious, most boring, most annoying book I've read this year.

I always finish a book, but this tested me to the limit. I was ready to pack it in after the first page. Does Winman really think it's clever and innovative to ditch the use of dialogue quotation marks? It isn't. It's arrogant, lazy and utterly disrespectful to the reader (not one mention in her profuse thanks to everyone under the sun in her acknowledgements…bar the most important person: the reader).

I refused to be deterred and thought all those stars given by others must be testament to a great book. At ten percent…no improvement. Fifty percent…it's going to get better soon, isn't it? Eighty percent…why have I wasted my time? Oh well, I'd better finish; there's a reason I stuck it out. Oh for heaven's sake, only twenty percent left and we've gone back sixty or so years!

The dialogue was bland and meaningless, the characters unengaging. If the author was aiming to show off her knowledge of Florence's street map and conversational Italian, she did that. But she didn't keep me in the book, with the characters, with the story.

For heaven's sake, the quotation mark is situated on the same key as the number two. Easy to find, easy to use. Good editors are also easy to find, ones who don't miss elementary grammatical errors.

This really wasn't my book of the year.

No comments:

Post a Comment