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Monday, February 6, 2012

A Wrinkle in Time for the first time

For years I watched people recommend A Wrinkle in Time. For years I thought, "I really must read that." Last week I saw that Farrar, Straus & Giroux were making the fiftieth anniversary edition available for Kindle. I read it.

I didn't like it.

I don't think I would have liked it as a kid, either. Why? Because the viewpoint character, Meg Murray, is utterly passive. Everything just happens to her. She absorbs what's going on around her but rarely makes decisions. (Those decisions are all made by her brother, a trio of 'witches' and her father.) She makes no real choices and suffers no real consequences--apart from one moment near the end when she fatalistically (very unexcitingly) is forced to be brave. And that, to me, read as a rather flat moment: she moved through the rescue of her father blankly. She is dull.

In addition, it was an utterly linear book, a travelogue. It reminded me a bit of The Silver Chair: a supposed catalogue of wonders that struck me as contrived and bored me rigid. I just didn't care. I didn't smell, feel, taste, worry or wonder about anything. And the god stuff felt like treacle left out so long it had turned stiff and unappealing as cardboard. I only managed to finish the book because one, it was short, and, two, it was so thin, so thuddingly uninvolving that I could think about other things as I read.

So: the book didn't work for me. I know that it's a favourite of millions, but I just don't get it.I'd love to hear what other readers think.

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