Or “The Stone Diaries” as it was called in English.
The reason this one never got read is probably that I suspected it to be respectable and stuff.
And it is. It’s very respectable.
Initially I thought it was a fictional (auto-)biography of sorts. Then when I reached the middle, I found all these pictures of the people portrayed in the book, so I kinda for a second thought that it might be a real (auto-)biography of sorts. And then I noticed that none of the people pictured looked anything like the people described in the book, so I went back to “fictional (auto-)biography with unreliable narrator. Of sorts.”
I never ever ever read anything about a book before I read it. I don’t read the stuff on the back, or on the flaps, or reviews. It much more amusing to read stuff when you don’t know how it’s supposed to be read.
I do, however, love reading reviews of stuff after I’ve read it. If I loathe a book, I love going to Amazon.com and read the other 1- and 2-star reviews and getting my views validated. Then reading the 5-star reviews, and see how moronic their reasons for liking the dreck is.
And the opposite thing works, too. If I love a book, I read the 5-star reviews and congratulate myself on having such good taste, and then I read the 1-star reviews written by obviously sup-par twits who didn’t get the point at all.
I thought this book was kinda “eh”. Not bad, not particularly good, but definitely respectable. So I binged it after I finished reading it, and it turns out that Carol Shields won the Pulitzer Prize for fiction for this book, which I feel is such a confirmation. Mainstream mediocrity seems to be the essence of that prize.
So there you are.