Book Review: The Blasphemer by Nigel Farndale (DNF)
November 15, 2011 12 Comments
This book had been on my TBR pile for ages, the main reason being that it was an e-book and I don’t have an e-reader. I put the book in my TBR Slash challenge in an attempt to finally read those books that had been on my shelves (or laptop) for ages.
When I ran into a paper copy of this book in the library, I was very pleased. It meant I didn’t have to spend ages reading it on my laptop.
Even so, I didn’t finish this book. I read only to page 319. I read this book as part of my TBR Slash challenge which stated that I could stop reading at page 75 if I wasn’t keen to continue.
The Blasphemer: What it is about
Not in my own words, this is from the Dutch online book store bol.com: “He had always been scared of flying. Now, the fear is real. A plane crash. The water is rising over his mouth. In his nostrils. Lungs. As Daniel gasps, he swallows; and punches at his seat-belt. Nancy, the woman he loves, is trapped in her seat. He clambers over her, pushing her face into the headrest. It is a reflex, visceral action made without rational thought…But Daniel Kennedy did it. And already we have judged him from the comfort of our own lives.
Almost a hundred years earlier, Daniel’s great-grandfather goes over the top at Passchendaele. A shell explodes, and he wakes up alone and lost in the hell of no-man’s-land. Where are the others? Has he been left behind? And if he doesn’t find his unit, is he a deserter? Love; cowardice; trust; forgiveness. How will any of us behave when we are pushed to extremes?”
The Blasphemer: What I thought
I did not finish this book. I read until page 319 and realised I had been bored for a while and had started to skim-read the pages. So no, I didn’t feel like doing that for another 100 pages to the end of the book.
There are two stories in the book, one of Daniel and his plane crash and the other of his great-grandfather in WWI. I didn’t enjoy the story of the great-grandfather at all (I’m not really one for war stories) so that left me with only half a book of interest.
The story of Daniel also didn’t interest me after some point. Reading about the plane crash and the trying to get back to a normal life was quite good, with Nancy, Daniel’s wife especially having a difficult time. That story faded out (in my eyes) and then there wasn’t nothing left for me to look forward to in the book, nothing that I wanted to see resolved.
Not even the coming together of the two stories could keep my interest. This involved Daniel finding some letters of his great-grandfather that he wanted to investigate, but I wasn’t holding my breath for him to find out what happened to his ancestor.
I wonder if I would have picked up this book if it hadn’t been a free e-book, which teaches me to look a gift-horse carefully in the mouth before accepting. My aim is to read every book I own, so I better not own too many books that aren’t really for me.
Rating: DNF (read until page 319)
I got this book: from the library and as a free e-book download
I read this in: Dutch (Ongeloof, the original language is English)
Number of pages: 416
First published: 2010
Genre: historical fiction, contemporary fiction