Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Book 9- The Gift

The Gift by Irish writer Cecelia Ahern is one of those "teach you a life lesson" sort of books, that just feels preaching, like a giant sermon or a Chicken Soup for the Soul sort of thing.

Lou is a jerk with a great job who buys lots of stuff and had lots of money but treats his family, his wife, and his children like crap, and claims he works all the time and is married to his job so he can provide for THEM even though we all know it's just for himself. Not only is he a crappy son (misses dinner with his parents on purpose, plans ways to avoid them, and hands off his father's 70th birthday party to his assistant that he's screwing), father (his daughter says she doesn't like him and his son screams in fear of him when Lou gets close, he doesn't know his children's ages, either) and husband (he cheats on his wife repeatedly with anything in a skirt and goes out drinking with the boys to avoid going home) but he's also a malicious employee, going after a job of a man who used to work in his office who had a nervous breakdown.

So he meets Gabe, a homeless guy and for some crazy reason he gives Gabe a job in the mailroom of his building. Then strange things start to happen and Lou is feeling stressed, knowing he has to be in two places at once. Gabe offers to help him out. And though they do look alike, this isn't a case where Gabe tries to be Lou's twin, but uses "magic" of sorts to help.

And there's a tragic ending. The entire story is told by a close to retirement age cop to a young kid who committed vandalism on Christmas day. The old cop tells the story to the bratty, foul mouthed teenager in an effort to teach him a lesson.

This story is trite and has been told in so many variations in the past, I was amazed it could get published again. I had zero sympathy for the main character Lou, none whatsoever. I realise it was released in time for Christmas but it still rings flat to me.

I was very disappointed in this novel because in the past I have been a fan of author Cecelia Ahern who authored PS I Love You and Thanks for the Memories. I always love that her books are set in Ireland, and specifically I was overjoyed at the settings of Dublin and Howth, both places I've been and have delighted in. But not even my joy with Dublin could make me enjoy this novel. Maybe the next one?


Maria Sondule said...

Sometimes its surprising how bad books get published. Often when I read something I'll think to myself, "I could've written this passage more effectively..." and that's not a good thing because I'm not the best writer around. I love your blog!

Maggie said...

Maria- first, thanks so much for reading my blog & for commenting! You're awesome!

And you are so right about all the bad books. I could write a damn good book about my life that would be better some tome of the crap out there now- not kidding either.

What sort of stuff do you like to read usually?

Fifi Flowers said...

FAB to be able to read soooo many books!