Tuesday, May 10, 2011

The Help = Meh.

The HelpThe Help by Kathryn Stockett

My rating: 2 of 5 stars

Spoiler alert! Not major spoilers, tiny, in fact, but still...

I must admit I have a grudge against really long books. What happens too often is that all the action is saved for the last third of the book. This book fits the mold. And I can't figure out why certain things are included. I don't know what they add to the story. They might be interesting or shocking, but they don't seem to add to the theme. For example, why does Skeeter's mom get cancer, leading you to believe she'll die, only to miraculously recover with no treatment? Why does the naked man trespass in Celia's yard? It doesn't seem to have anything to do with the racial theme of the book because he's tormenting the white woman the same as the black woman. He's just crazy as far as I can tell. I'm probably just slow and not not picking up on some hidden message.

I'm also somewhat prejudiced against writers who write about writing. This book made it seem so easy too. Some big wig editor receives a resume from an unqualified girl from Mississippi and just gives her the opportunity to write this book? Very unlikely. I doubt Skeeter would have been the only unqualified applicant, so is Mrs. Stein writing to every single wannabe writer to help them follow their dreams? She doesn't seem like that nice of a person. It's almost as bad as David Bowie emailing what's-his-face on the movie Band Slam to tell him he saw his band on YouTube and wants them to sign to his label.

I do like that all three women are freed in one way or another in the end.

I normally like stories where people with different backgrounds are able to come together, but this one just didn't do it for me, probably because of my prejudices (Oh, the irony!) against long books and writers who write about writing.

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  1. I actually really loved this book - although I had the same question about the flasher guy.

    The times were changing and I think that's why the editor gave Skeeter the chance. Times were changing for everyone and that's what the book was about. Everyone was each others help - and we all have the right to choose who we help.

    I dunno. The book was thick but it didn't feel that long to me. When it ended I wanted more. It's an era and place that fascinate me and I'd have loved to have been there to witness it myself.

  2. I'm glad to see you posting again. Please include more of your famous art in future posts. It makes me smile :) I have yet to read this book... I probably won't get to it for a long while yet.

  3. I love your blog! I am sad to admit that I didn't find it until now because I myself was MIA when it came to my own blog and just went through the renovation process. Anyway, I miss you and cannot wait to party it up with you in SLC!


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