The Idiotic Things We Do To Ourselves

One of the primary purposes of re-booting is to take the time and effort to set ourselves upon the Right Path because whatever road we trod before no longer serves us. However, as earnest and watchful as we aspirants may be, that doesn’t preclude the occasional misstep.


Some may be serious, but most not. To wit, my idealistic reliance on a newspaper book critic and subsequent refusal to course correct. Now, I am a big reader. I love to read; I mean I LOVE it. I’ll devour nearly anything handed to me—including that ridiculous series Fifty Shades of Grey. But, even I have my limits. I declined to read the third one because the first two were so stupid—thank God I paid cash, so my purchasing habits can’t be traced.


But even those books weren’t as terrible as the one lauded in the Post a few weeks ago. The appraisal started out cleverly enough: the reviewer observed that there must be something in the fjord water to produce such a large crop of “superlative Swedish crime writers.” She went on to draw a parallel between the Dragon tattoo series and those written by the recommended author, Camilla Lackberg.  Who, the reviewer professed, wrote “richly textured and downright breathtaking” mysteries.


Well, I got so excited, I decided to purchase works one and two in addition to the third (which was the subject of this review), so as to appreciate the fine way the characters were drawn throughout the course of the series. Boy, was I WRONG! These mysteries are so canned that even I could figure out what was going on before the “big reveal.” And, what’s up with the bizarre phrases chosen by the Swedish to English translator [ok, just take my word for it]. Who edited this thing?!? These books are so awful that I could never in good conscience give them to anyone; I am seriously considering a midnight run past the library book deposit bin.


The house was desolate and empty.” “Something was wrong. He could feel it in his joints, the same way he sometimes felt an approaching storm.” “The bathroom was completely tiled in white, so the effect of the blood in and around the bathtub was even more striking. For a brief moment she thought that the contrast was pretty…in spite of the unnatural interplay of white and blue on the body….” Snarky comment from me: I bet she got help from her creative writing instructor on making the scene come more alive with descriptives! And just one more, I promise. “Erica had slept a deep and dreamless sleep, but still felt as though she’d barely had a catnap.”


OK, so as terrible as these books are, what was idiotic was that I forced myself to read all three. 


Why??? Why in God’s name did I do this?


I hated every minute of reading these books; I mean it was painful to turn the page. I so much wanted to walk away from the entire, miserable experience, and yet…


I didn’t.


I can’t even say it was like a moth to a flame—that would be more Fifty Shades territory. Rather, I suspect that in my determination to “get my money’s worth” I felt I deserved the punishment of slogging through this drivel to the end. But also, there remained a wee hope that, perhaps, the book would get better if only I stuck with it long enough. Or, I kept trying to suss out what the reviewer saw in the author’s work that I was missing. Alas, my errant investment of hope proved to be awash. So, at the end of the day, what is the takeaway lesson from this?


All this wasted time and angst over some silly books? Ridiculous, I know.


In what other arenas of life might this same psychosis lurk? Where might those same questions apply in your life?


Cutting your losses is easier said than done.


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One Response to “The Idiotic Things We Do To Ourselves”

  1. helenga Says:

    Ok, missy, so you read this drivel (three books worth even!), but you wouldn’t read “The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society?” Harumph! 🙂 This post made me laugh out loud because of course I hate to cut my losses, too, and I’ve slogged through more unsatisfactory experiences than I care to think about! Of course I’m hoping you read more really bad books because this review (even if that wasn’t the point of the blog) was truly hilarious!

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