book number twenty of 2015 + booker prize winner 1985: the bone people [keri hulme].

the reason i’ve not had a book update in a while is because this one was a bit of a beast to get through. at 540 pages, the bone people was easily the longest book i have read since probably march, and it took some time to get all the way through it.

keri hulme’s story about a mute six-year-old boy, his foster father, and a reclusive former artist started out strong, and i raced through the first half of the book. it took me a while to realize there were translations in the back of the book for the maori phrases sprinkled throughout, but once i got the hang of that i sailed through.

and then i hit a wall. for one, i was pretty ill for about a week and didn’t have the energy to concentrate on reading [netflix was much more enticing]. for another, the story seemed to stall out on me. it was moving along briskly, there was a bit of intrigue and mystery, and i was enjoying guessing where hulme was going to go next. and then she went in an entirely different direction and completely stymied me.

i was thrown by the change of pace in the story, but i was mostly disappointed. there was a definitely change in voice and tone, and i struggled to get into the rhythm of it. and then it just kept going, seemingly with no end in sight. i’m pretty sure the only reasons i made it to the end were because it is a booker winner and because i set a goal of finishing it in sri lanka so i wouldn’t have to lug it back with me.

i will say, however, that i was very intrigued by the way hulme dealt with the issue of domestic abuse in the story and how the cycle perpetuates itself. i thought she touched on the emotions and psychology in an interesting way, and those were always the parts i thought were written best.

i’m glad i made it to the end, but ultimately i think i just didn’t “get” it.

my goodreads rating: 2 out of 5 // average rating is 4.06 [so i definitely didn’t get it].

crossing off the popsugar reading list: a book with more than 500 pages.

next from the booker list: the old devils by kingsley amis. the back of the book promises it will be funny, which would be great after the last two booker experiences.


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