27 Aug 2016

THE POISONWOOD BIBLE.

THE POISONWOOD BIBLE by BARBARA KINGSOLVER.

BACK COVER BLURB: Told by the wife and four daughters of Nathan Price, a fierce evangelical Baptist who takes his family and mission to the Belgian Congo in 1959, this is the story of one family's tragic undoing and remarkable reconstruction over the course of three decades in post-colonial Africa.

FIRST SENTENCE {Book One: Genesis ~ Orleanna Price: Sanderling Island, Georgia}: Imagine a ruin so strange it must never have happened.

MEMORABLE MOMENT {Page 160}: Tata Ndu did not bow his head but raises it, not happily but proudly. Then I understood that he had won, and my father had lost. Tata Ndu came here personally to tell us that the gods of his village did not take kindly to the minister of corruption. As a small sign of Their displeasure, They ate his daughter alive.

SOURCE: A Reading Group Read.

MY THOUGHTS: Hmm! Just where to begin.

Narrated by several characters, all of them female (all of them two dimensional at best) - the wife and daughters of protagonist, Baptist missionary Nathan Price. Whilst we heard of him, we never actually heard directly from him. Though one of the more hideously arrogant literary creations I've come across - goodness, the author must have done something right to warrant such a reaction - at least a vaguely interesting characters, I wonder why this was.

Though ranging over several decades, altogether overlong, the first half in particular meandered on and on and on and ...

What was that? 

A lion? A daughter about to become its dinner? Ah, false alarm (it seems the lion changed its mind) ... onto the second half that lets face doesn't really get much better.

And that wasn't my main gripe ...

Left feeling manipulated. Harsh of me perhaps BUT I can't help but feel that rather than exploring events, the historical and political turmoil, through the eyes of the characters, the author had her own agenda and wasn't afraid to preach it.

Originally rated 'It was OK' on GoodReads. Having completed my I've decided to amend this to 'I didn't like it'.


11 comments:

Alexia561 said...

Sorry to hear that you didn't care for this one, but thank you for saving me the trouble of reading it! I somehow wound up with a copy, but will gladly put it in my donate pile instead of wasting my time. So disappointing when the characters never come to life.

Kelly said...

I've not read this, but I know others who have... and I was thinking they liked it, but I could be mistaken. Anyway - I read a book (or maybe two) by this author many years ago and remember loving it. (even if I can't remember the title or premise)

I'm sorry this was one that went downhill the more you thought about it.

Mary (Bookfan) said...

I had to check Goodreads for my rating because I read it nine years ago and can't remember much about it. I liked it a bit more than you but I think your points are valid. Oh well.

Stephanie@Fairday's Blog said...

I know I won't be picking this one up. One of my best friends read it and told me how much she didn't like it. She actually felt it was torturous at times. Now that I have read your review and learned that you didn't like it either- I think I will spend my time on other books. :) Thanks for sharing!

Brian Joseph said...

I have heard so much about this book. It seems that some folks love it while others hate it.

I think that the Two dimensional characters would kill it for me. I can only forgive that if something else in the book, such as writing style, was outstanding.

Suko said...

Tracy, thanks for an honest review! I hope you enjoy the next book on your list more.

Shooting Stars Mag said...

Thanks for your honest thoughts. This doesn't appeal to me, but I'm sorry it really didn't work for you! It does seem like it could have been done a LOT better.

Literary Feline said...

I tried to read this one about three times and just couldn't get into it. It sounds like it might be worth just giving up on.

Charlie (The Worm Hole) said...

I've Flight Behaviour on my TBR which I've not read yet because it received mixed responses - it sounds like the situation here, a bit 'what was that about?!' Sounds as though it'll work for your reading group, though!

Gina R said...

Always wondered about this one as it was on several school reading lists stateside... alas, I do believe I'll pass. Thanks for persevering! '-'

The Bookworm said...

Sorry you didn't enjoy this one. I read this so long ago and I really liked it at the time. I wonder if I re-read it how I'd view it now.
Thanks for the honest review.