I am going to have a bit of a rant here. The other night I was watching the ABC (Australian Broadcasting) Book Club show with Jennifer Byrne, Jason Steger and Marieke Hardy. They reviewed an Australian crime story. I forget the name of it but that doesn't matter. The thing is the publisher sold it as a psychological thriller about two sisters. One who was murdered and the other who was grieving beyond all belief. They all said that it is definitely not a psychological thriller. It was an in-depth story of the remaining sister's grief.
The point is if you go to the bookshop, pay your hard earned money because you want to buy a good psychological thriller, buy this particular book and read it you will be disappointed.
I saw this book, Happy People Read and Drink Coffee by Agnes Martin-Lugand.
The Amazon kindle site (I was travelling) told me the book was as follows.
Diane has a charmed life as a wife, a mother and the owner of a literary cafe in Paris called Happy People Read and Drink Coffee. But when Diane suddenly loses her beloved husband and daughter in a car accident her perfect world is shattered. Trapped and haunted by her memories, Diane withdraws from friends and family, unable and unwilling to move forward.
One year on, Diane shocks her loved ones by leaving Paris to move to a small town on the Irish coast to rebuild her life alone. There she meets Edward, a brooding, handsome photographer who lives next door. Initially Edward resents Diane's intrusion into his solitary life, but before long they find themselves drawn to each other . . ."
The cover shows the main character holding a book in Paris and reading it. I was so disappointed in this story I almost had Kindle take it back but figured it would be more trouble than it was worth. Yes the protagonist owns a book store in Paris. However she doesn't really go into it much. She also doesn't read. Her husband and daughter die at the very beginning in Paris in a car accident. She is grieving very much. She spends a great amount of time carrying on to her gay guy friend who also works in this book store. She lies around the house, doesn't do anything for about a year and then she does go to Ireland. The entire rest of the book takes place a small village in Ireland. It is a very formulaic book.
She rents a little house, sits around doing nothing, makes a friend, meets the friend's crabby brother who is about her age. He is not in a relationship. Still nothing about the Paris bookshop or reading. She doesn't even drink much coffee, lots of alcohol though. She and the friend's brother go back and forth, verbally sparring, spending time together.....yeah, you get the drift. Nobody is spending time with books though.
Finally during the second to last page she is back in Paris and lo and behold she is in her bookshop. She is holding a grand re-opening of sorts. People are talking about coffee. They touch books. Next page continues with The End.
The publisher completely misrepresented this book both on the blurb at the back of the book (I saw it in the bookshop in Hobart) and on the Amazon site. Is this going to be the new trend in publishing? Will books be advertised to be about the topics all of us really love? Then when we get home in our PJ's, curl up on the couch with whatever pet sits with us, get our hot cocoa (It is winter here) and dive in we will find out the book is about something entirely different. This book is pure hype. I might have enjoyed it if I wanted to read a romance/grief/fall in love book but I didn't. I am too old for that nonsense of youth. I read that years ago. I wanted to read a book that takes place in a book shop where people meet, read, chat and drink coffee. That's what I like now.
If this happens again I am really going to complain to the publisher. I usually let three things happen before I hit the proverbial roof. So far I am on number 2. Publishers.....please beware.
I gather your post is more entertaining than this book. I obviously do not need to add it to my reading list!ReplyDelete
You are right anout this one Lizbeth.Delete
This really irritates me when I buy a book, because we do judge books by their covers and their cover blurbs. At least if I'd gotten it from the library, I wouldn't waste my money. But then sometimes the library doesn't have the newest books, and I end up buying one that I don't want to wait for.ReplyDelete
Inusually know ahead of time what I will pick up but the cover sucked me in.Delete
just another version of the money dragon that has eaten civilization... apparently executives now believe that the public will buy anything if it's advertised in the right way... old books are best...ReplyDelete
I have read some good current books. I dont think that has changed. There are good and not so good in all years but a reliable way of finding them is the trick.Delete
Must say that these days I generally blurbs. I rarely read them because I want to decide myself what a book is about not what some blurb-writer has said. It's probably clear from this that I rarely go into a bookshop looking for something random to read. I have so many things I WANT to read that I'm rarely tempted to buy something on spec that I know nothing about. Can't remember when I last did that. I am occasionally sent review copies of books I know nothing about, and when that happens, I tend not to read the blurb either. I'll look at the title, the front cover and then just start reading.ReplyDelete
I don't think publishers are any worse at false advertising than any other producer of products - which I guess is why I take little notice of what they say!
I just cant help myself to read the blurbs but I have another friend that never looks at them. I might have to do that but at $30 a book I do get concerned a bit.Delete
I used to be the main supplier of mysteries for my mother-in-law. I could reliably pick out mysteries that focused on the plot, had no bad language or over sex, and featured very little blood. That's what she loved. I could almost always find the perfect book(s) for her based on the covers. I was better at picking out books she'd like than she was! She's been gone for several years now, so I don't know if it's still possible to find "old comfies" based on their covers.Delete
I do know that I often by books based on their covers and I'm often disappointed. I really should stop.
Oh no, I don't totally agree with that mudpuddle. There are some great new books being written. You just have to find the sources that you can trust to recommend the sorts of books you like to read. I love old books but I live in the 21st century and I want to be part of that too.ReplyDelete
I understand what you are saying but I do find I enjoy the writing style of those books I grew up with but of course a generalisation can't be made. I like to keep up with current topics as well. Thanks for commenting.ReplyDelete
Oh, I'm certainly not saying I don't like older books - I patently do. I reread more Jane Austen than any other author, and am one of the supporters of including classics in my reading group's schedule, but I could never say "old books are best". That's far too great a generalisation for me to agree to! Like you, I like to keep up with current writers as well as older ones. I don't want to live ONLY in the past ...!ReplyDelete
actually i didn't say it, Proust did; i should have made that clear... mea culpa...ReplyDelete