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moving under skies

NYRB Classics collector. Reads anything, so long as it's good. Sometimes historian. Frequently grumpy:  you've been warned. Also at aliceunderskies.tumblr.com. 

The Help

The Help - Kathryn Stockett

Read this for work. I'd managed to avoid it for months, suspecting it would not be my sort of book, on the very real claim that we are always sold out and so can't spare copies for employees. Alas, a coworker pressed her copy upon me, and I felt obligated to read it. It's book clubby in the worst way: I'd be surprised if Stockett didn't write this with the active hope that Oprah might pick it up for hers. Trite, simplistic pablum. Problematic pablum, too, though I won't get into that as it wasn't my problem with the book (this review makes a nice start at dissecting some of the more serious issues in the book). because my main complaint is that it was bland and utterly boring. I set it down one afternoon and proceeded to totally forget that I was reading it until a customer called about a copy a week later: that's how completely uninvolved I was. Also, half of it is written in dialect which is almost impossible to do well--in general I hate hate hate dialect unless the author is actually from the culture and therefore a "native speaker." Why two stars if it was so onerously dull? Because it was better than The Lovely Bones and certain books by Jodi Picoult, at least, and one must preserve relativity, etc. etc. la la la. I do dimly recall it maybe having an interesting scene or a redeeming feature beyond my haze of boredom-induced amnesia.