Wednesday, May 30, 2018

Nick Spalding - Fat Chance

Greg and Zoe sign up to a radio show competition to loose weight (something like the biggest loser) after a number of unfortunate body weight related incidents. We follow them on their weight loss journey through alternating diary entries

This book wasn't great. Besides a few witty comments thrown by Greg and Zoe this was basically a bunch of whiny diary entries. If I wanted to read endless complaining, I'd dig up my old diaries.

I can sum the story up in a few lines (Spoilers ahead. If you could call them that)

First 80% of the book.

Zoe: I'm fat and I can't fit in a dress.
Greg: I'm fat but it doesn't bother me.

20 pages and a broken chair later...

Greg: Ok, maybe it does bother me a bit.

Zoe: 20 pages about a cabbage diet

Greg: 20 pages about his personal trainer experience

Zoe: I'm Fat

Greg: I'm Fat

Last 20% of book

Zoe: 20 pages about allll the different diets she tried and what finally worked for her.... wait for it.... EATING IN MODERATION .... who would have thought people?

Greg: 20 pages about various exercise equipment he bought and what finally worked..... the Treadmill... SURPRISE. (P.S. treadmills don't make shin splints better.... just sayin)

Zoe and Greg: We're now happy

The End

Blekh. It's an honorable message : You can achieve anything you set your mind to. But way too much whining and self deprecating humor. Once or twice is funny, but not 300 pages of it.

Monday, March 26, 2018

How to Stop Time- Matt Haig

It may seem strange falling in love with someone because of a single gesture, but sometimes you can read an entire person in a single moment. The way you can study a grain of sand and understand the universe. Love at first sight might or might not be a thing, but love in a single moment is.

So much feels.

I did not love this book like I loved The Humans, I didn't even really like it. I did appreciate it for the beautiful writing, which was to be expected from Matt Haig. Five stars for the abundant quotes and the beautiful Montaigne references, two stars for the actual story. 

Tom Hazzard does not age like everyone else. He was born in the Shakespearean era and has only just started looking like a man in his 40's. After being around for almost 400 years, one might just lose the will to live, but Tom's search for answers from his past keeps him going and ties him to a cult-like society that "protects"people like him. 

The novel alternates between present day London and Tom's looong past in various locations (London, Paris, tahiti, etc.). I honestly did not care for Tom's past life interludes, sure they were vital to the story, but meh. There was so much name dropping there, Shakespeare, the Fitzgeralds, Captain Cook, I don't care. The ending was rushed, basic and downright bizarre (view spoiler) , it undermined the effort that went into building up the anticipation. 

That being said, Haig has such a way with words and with making his settings come alive, walking past Shakespeare's Globe will never be the same again. Even though I did not like the story, I enjoyed reading this book so much, simply for Haig's talent of creating hopeless broken protagonists then building them back up one beautifully written sentence at a time and giving his readers hope in humanity as he does so. 

I still recommend this book and of course highly recommend The Humans. When you're feeling like everyone is a piece of shit, read Matt Haig.