Thursday, 31 October 2013

Flowers in the Attic by V.C. Andrews

It is so appropriate to color hope yellow, like that sun we seldom saw.

It took me a second to figure out what the hell this sentence means. I think I got it: Hope should be the color of the sun because like the sun, they rarely saw any hope. Yellow is also the color of corny. This sentence paints a rather simplistically childish picture of bleakness, suitable for the opening of a horror episode of Sesame Street. It also suggests confinement, though I might be inferring too much.

Despite the critical analysis, in the end, it is exposition. Perhaps that's all life really is - exposition. Although it indicates conflict, the opening line doesn't state directly or even hint inadvertently what that conflict might be. Talk about obstinate plotting techniques.

After that prologue we have chapter one:

Truly, when I was very young, way back in the Fifties, I believed all of life would be like one long and perfect summer day.

The writer is stalling now, dragging it out by beginning with an adverb. One wonders how much longer we have to listen to the narrator brooding nostalgically before we get to a story worthy problem. It's bland and a shame to waste any more time writing this review.

I know the premise behind this book and the idea intrigues. I saw the movie as a kid and never looked at my mother the same way again - that's right, you can't trust anyone, not even your own mother. However, I've picked this book up on three different occasions and can never get past chapter two. The narrator is just too self-absorbed to be interesting. I want to knuckle slap him or her or whatever it is that's telling this story. After all, I'm just a reader, not the narrator's bloody psychotherapist.

First thing said:

"Take off your boots in the foyer."

Verdict: Fail

Rudy Globird

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