Thursday, March 10, 2011

Books I'm Not Reading

I'm not reading Dashiell Hammett's The Maltese Falcon. Yes, yes, I know, it's a mystery classic, made into a great movie with Humphrey Bogart blah blah blah but, really, I'm 75 pages into it - somewhat nearly half way but at 230 or so pages, so I'm a good way in - it's just not that well written. Maybe it carries too much of the "classic" baggage; it reads as a cheap imitation of itself. Sam Spade isn't really likable in the book though, yes, in the movie, it's a different story. In the movie Spade was played by Humphrey Bogart; in the book, Spade is played by Sam Spade. Too much of what happens is a just a lot of talk in different rooms and in between these scenes are scenes of Spade getting from one room to the next.

And, okay, another reason why I'm not reading the book is that it only cost me 50 cents. I picked it up, along with a stack of others, at the Friends of the Library Book Sale a couple of weekends ago. Didn't spend much and got a bunch of things I'd been wanting to try but didn't want to invest the money or the time going to the library to check 'em out.

See, that's what happens when you don't have much invested in a book but that's not a bad thing: that means the book has to try all that much harder to keep me committed. The Maltese Falcon has committed an unpardonable crime: it let my attention wander.

Oh, I may get back to it. An investment of the time to get to 75 pages is still something. But for now, other books in my stack beckon. Let's see what they have to say about it.

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