Friday, January 24, 2014

The Map of Lost Memories by Kim Fay

The Map of Lost Memories
by Kim Fay
1 star - started off well, but just not my thing
ALR Blue - animals as scenery

I don't like giving one star ratings to perfectly fine books that just aren't my style. But this is as much a way for me to check back on authors that don't suit me as helpful reviews for others, so here goes.

1925. Irene Blum is a regular Indiana Jones. She works for a museum obtaining lost treasures from around the world. Some of her methods are questionable and she will frequently obtain things for private collections which is kind of a no no in the collector's world, but that's OK, it's part of the adventure.

When the museum director where she works passes away, Irene is passed over for the slot primarily because she's a woman and that gets her blood up. So she sets out to find the lost scrolls of Cambodia's ancient Khmer civilization.

It's an odd book stylistically. For the first fifty pages or so I loved it. So much that I was crafting my glowing review even as I read. I saw BBC series. Yup. Because for the first third of the book, we've got lots of action and a bit of mystery and a fine heroine. 

So what changed? I'm not sure. All I can say is that by the time I crested the 100 page mark, I was growing increasingly impatient. The characters started to lose some of their depth and despite reading some passages several times, it struck me that many key elements of the story were written in a confusing and haphazard way. It almost seemed like bits had been left out. Weird little things like conversations in a cafe where the arrival of the characters was abrupt and the flow of conversation and food service didn't quite match.

At first I thought "OK, this is the sort of book that you need to read in big chunks, so just immerse yourself." Last night I gave it a final attempt and spent a full hour reading. Nope, the magic didn't return. Off to the library with this one.

As a side note, this is the third book in the stack of twelve I purchased from Bas Bleu in the hope of expanding my reading palate a bit. Sadly, two out of the three I've tackled have been non-starters for me. Makes me dread picking up the next one (which I won't do for a bit as I've got some books waiting for me at the library).

Oh, and one more thing. I did have a go at the 1947 Pulitzer Prize book, All the King's Men.

All the King's Men
by Robert Penn Warren
non-starter, no rating

It was clear from the get go that this one wasn't going to work out for me.

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