Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Something Fun To Do

I just discovered something amusing.

I am reading Bless Me Ultima, which is about the most boring book I've ever read. I remember being pretty bored when I read the beginning of it in high school, too.

The group leading our class discussion asked how we would have felt reading it when we were younger, and I told them I didn't like it and couldn't relate to it, and that even though I took Spanish in high school, the frequent Spanish words made it hard for me to connect with the story.

Well, it was true, and I remember none of the rest of my class liked it either, but this class cares more about diversity than I do. They think it just excellent. And relating to something that we can't relate to teaches us even more than reading about white people. It teaches us that we have things in common with other cultures. Because all cultures have myths and we all care about culture prejudice and self-discovery. And wandering through a boy's dreams and stuff is deep and inspiring to them.

I am insensitive, I guess. But there are more interesting ways of bridging the cultural gap, I think.

So to feel better about it all, I Googled "I hate Bless Me Ultima" and read things other people had written. I am not the only one who thinks this book is boring.

AND THEN! I had a brilliant idea. I started reading the ONE STAR reviews on Amazon, right here in class. Okay, I agree that there are some nice things about this book, but reading bad reviews made me feel much better about not just loving every page.

Here are some of my favorite parts:

1.0 out of 5 stars Slow, slow, slow, December 18, 2008
By Dr. John Laughlin (Glenn Dale, MD) - See all my reviews
This is a rather long work tha plods along like a melting glacier about the story of a youg boy, his family and his attachment to a healer known as Ultima. You expect the book to pick up steam on the next page only to contiue in this slow, endless march through blandness and bordom. How it won awards is beyond me.
John, author of Reading Thomas Merton

1.0 out of 5 stars WORST BOOK EVER WRITTEN,
June 30, 1999
By A Customer
I'd have given this book negative five stars if it were an option. This novel has a mind-numbingly boring storyline, with almost zero plot, characters you couldn't care less about, unrealistic scenes, cheap symbolism and dumb 'plot twists'. Why anyone would want to read about a stupid little boy who follows an old con artist around 'curing' people with 'curses' that are probably nothing more than the flu is beyond me. I found it difficult to care about Tony's family and their problems. I felt that it was a quasi-noble effort to represent a struggle between good and evil, considering that no one in the story was pure good or pure evil.

1.0 out of 5 stars Let me wake up from my deep sleep,
December 10, 2001
"Bless Me Ultima" was a story that always put [m]e to sleep. If I needed a nap, this story never let me down. It took me hours to read just a few pages. I would sit down to read the book and then after a few minutes my eyes would get heavy and dry and the story never helped me wake up. I would rather sit around looking at the ceiling and counting how many holes there are in it. Or maybe even see how many fibers I could count in the carpet. Any of those things were more interesting than "Bless Me Ultima".
Another annoying thing about the book was the frequent use of Spanish throughout the dialogue. I don't speak Spanish so this put a real hamper on my pleasure of reading the book (if any at all). The Spanish always ruined the mood of the events happening. It made you stop and think, "What is this person trying to say."

I was waiting the whole book for it to get interesting, but it never did. There started to be a little bit of action towards the end of the story, but then it stopped with the end of the book.

Another thing I didn't enjoy was the frequent use of symbolism. I am not a fan of symbolism. I wish that writers could just tell it as it is without having to show it as something else.

The only reason why I gave this book one star was because that was the least that I could give it. If I had a chance to, I would rather give it no stars. I guess you could say that that one star was for giving me long nights of great sleep.

Thanks everyone for hearing me out.

1.0 out of 5 stars badnews, March 8, 2002
By STEVE (Walla Walla, WA USA) - See all my reviews
there is no adjective in the english language to describe the horrors of reading this "book". PLEASE, don't fall victim to reading this atrocity.


Weren't those great?!

I should probably finish this post and start paying attention to class again...


MamaErin said...

This is awesome, Emily!!

Petit Elefant said...

That's a really fantastic idea, googling those one stars. It would have made me feel better too.

Madame Bovary is another one of those *oh please!* books. My brother used to call it My Damn Ovaries.

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