Tuesday, October 22, 2013

The Signature of All Things by Elizabeth Gilbert

The Signature of All ThingsThe Signature of All Things by Elizabeth Gilbert
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

Gilbert is an incredibly talented author who writes beautiful prose and provides pondering points in human history. I love a good novel that incorporates history and intellect while maintaining the integrity of the writing process. Gilbert does this and ties many but not all of the themes together. I understand why readers have rated this book so highly. It is difficult to summarize the huge task of Gilbert's novel. Yet for all the positive points I've listed, it simply failed to engage me. The story does not gallop or trot. It spreads as slowly as Alma's moss. Moss does not fascinate me. Ambrose's orchids did not fascinate me. I drew the conclusion of the symbolism and appreciated it but I found the story far too slow and inclusive of every thought that crosses Alma's brilliant mind, every sexual fantasy of Alma's frustrated "quim" and frankly, I completely missed the point of those interludes.

I don't know why I don't stop reading a book after the first 50 pages or so if it hasn't grabbed my attention. For this I apologize. This novel has received rave reviews. Besides a few a-ha moments, I thought the story was pointless and somewhat redundant.

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techeditor said...

I appreciate this review so much. Thank you for it.

By the way, I, too, always intend to stop reading after 50 pages if the book hasn't engaged me by then; and I, too, always read further. Most times I finish the book. Every now and then, when the book is just plain bad, I do stop around page 200.

But I know why. I have read a few (very few) books that became good after 50 pages. So I keep thinking, this is going to be one of those books.

Maryellen Pallow said...

Just caught this review from the Goodreads link. I'm about 76% finished with this book and I really hope that the end justifies the middle!