Dare it say it: Niffenegger just might not yet be a great writer. I appreciated the concept and the depths to which it was explored. I found some of the ideas within this book very romantic, as well. However, like "The Curious Case of Benjamin Button," the result of something that could've been a masterpiece was instead surface-y and underwhelming.
Like others, I thought the character development was a bit stale. Instead of painting a true portrait, the author instead threw in mild personal eccentricities with no real meaning nor justification. And the storyline as a whole seemed to lose its luster once the time travel concept was fully established.
Afterward, I watched the movie. Verses the book, I enjoyed the movie more. It really seemed to cut the clutter. It simply deletes the more dispensable scenes within the book.
I urge Neffenegger to keep writing, but maybe under the mentorship of another. (Personally, I'd recommend Ken Follett; his talent of character creation could really help Neffenegger. But that's of course simply my personal bias.)
In a word: Wow!
Already knowing the basics of this story, my fear was that this would leave little to gain from the book. Boy, was I mistaken! Despite my surface-level knowledge of the main occurrences, the author's portrayal of real-life characters and events offered something so much more important.
I was taken through the entire gamut of emotions. Putty in the author's hands, I couldn't stop listening and was left disappointed that this somehow true story had to finally end.
If you're like me, you'll be left wondering two things:
1) "How did the author so gracefully fit such an amazing life into a single book?"
2) "How the heck are they going to pull this off with a single movie? This could be 5 movies!"
This has immediately become one of my favorite non-fiction books of all time. I promise you'll feel the same way.
This book has left me feeling a bit mixed up. It took a couple of hours for me to feel drawn in. However, what suddenly blossomed was a painfully phenomenal recreation of a character I thought I knew. In her early years, Elphaba (The Wicked Witch of the West) is the embodiment of youth's most insecure times. However, so well-adjusted to exclusion, she remains ignorant to any conscious sense of insecurity. That much more did I want to reach out to her in her rejection when reaching out to others.
However, despite the formative years, I felt the book eventually became very hollow and very rushed. Maguire's other-world descriptions began to become a bit too abstract. Even masterbatory. For those looking for a great beginning-to-end masterpiece, maybe look abroad. However, if it's a compelling, psychological character study you seek, you've found it.
This book spoke very much to me as a virtual know-nothing on all things AdSense. It's get-to-the-point approach ensured that I walked away with a ground level knowledge...without feeling overwhelmed. It leaves plenty of room to learn more, but serves as a terrific usher. I'd even suggest it to more advanced listeners, as even one or two nuggets of something to can really make all the difference.
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