I was late to the Eat, Pray, Love party...and regretful, for I skipped Elizabeth Gilbert talking about the experience on Oprah because I hadn't yet read the book. I'm not a huge memoir fan, especially given how many have popped up on the market, so I resisted this book for a long time. Once I finally picked it up, I relished it.
The same goes for Water for Elephants by Sara Gruen. The premise didn't appeal to me, even as I watched its rise to the top of every bestseller list in the country. Finally, my mother practically forced it into my hands, and once I read it, I was sorry I had waited so long.
I was determined that this was not to be the case with The Garden of Last Days. It's the long-awaited, much-anticipated latest novel from Andres Dubus III, the author of House of Sand and Fog. Expectations were high everywhere I looked, setting it up as potentially the best "serious read" of the summer.
However, I was very disappointed overall. I can't fault his writing...he was thorough with descriptions and attentive to detail. The storyline, though, just didn't propel me. In a nutshell, it centers around various characters and activities within a Florida strip club mere days before the tragedy of September 11.
It was a monster of a book, which is fine, except for the fact that much of the 535 pages takes place within just one night. It was interesting at first...tiresome in the middle...and flat in the end.
Are there books you wish you hadn't waited so long to read?
And, have you ever read something just because you think it's going to be the next big thing and you don't want to miss out...only to be disappointed?