WWW Wednesdays: 8th October

WWW Wednesdays is a meme hosted by Should Be Reading. I don’t normally join in, but since I’ve recently finished a book, started another one, and have several on my TBR, I decided to play this week.

What are you currently reading?

There's no better way to announce

The Name of the Wind by Patrick Rothfuss. According to Goodreads reviewers, only Dan-Brown-loving illiterate Philistines like this book, so I am pleased to announce that I am thoroughly enjoying every page. It’s fast-paced and funny and cheesy and a little bit trashy. In short, it’s exactly what I need after finishing Casino Royale (rant below). Also, spider-monsters! And red-headed heroes!

What did you recently finish reading?

Feel a bit sorry for Daniel Craig, who presumably doesn't endorse the sentiments in this book (but still has his face on it).

Casino Royale by Ian Fleming. This is literally one of the worst books I have ever read. The narration takes place largely inside the head of a man who is having rape fantasies about the supposed love of his life (not putting words into his mouth there, he literally thinks to himself that he wants to marry Vesper because–incredibly offensive statement warning–every time he has sex with her it will have the “sweet tang of rape”). It’s not trying to satirise this viewpoint or make an important point about the way Bond views women–as far as I can tell, Fleming is endorsing all of what’s going on. Bond describes luck at the gaming table as being “like a woman–to be gently wooed then brutally ravaged, never pursued nor pandered to”. I felt grubby throughout, and it became the first book I’ve ever thrown in the bin instead of giving to a charity shop.

When it’s not utterly disgusting, it’s just dull. Poorly written and badly edited. The sentences are all the same length, there is excruciatingly excessive description of clothing and scenery–it felt like a Nancy Drew book, only with all the fun taken out and replaced with violence and misogyny. There are at least ten pages dedicated to describing the intricacies of baccarat gameplay, and even the mandatory Bond-is-kidnapped-and-tortured scene is flat and tired. Also, I’m not sure that I can ever watch another James Bond film, knowing that the source material is this repellent. Rather disappointing, since I had previously loved the film version of Casino Royale.

What do you think you’ll read next?

I picked up The Joy Luck Club at a charity shop for 50p the other day, and read a few pages before deciding it was a read-in-one-sitting book that I didn’t have enough time for then. I plan on spending my Sunday morning curled up in my favourite coffee shop with this book and a large peppermint mocha (because, you know, it’s nearly Christmas). Can’t wait.

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