Thursday, April 10, 2008

Dingley Falls by Michael Malone

imag from LibraryThing
I'm not sure about this book. I liked this but I didn't like it....

I was in the mood for a big old fat book that sucked me in to the world of the story. This didn't quite do that. It was big and fat - 588 pages. It was filled with odd and quirky New England characters. It took place in 1976 -the year of the bicentennial. But, I just couldn't quite get immersed. There were too many story lines, too many characters and not quite enough connection. It had everything it needed - but it just didn't quite make me escape.

So, let's see. Dingley falls is a basic village started by a disgruntled old English fellow who made his money and started factories in the 1800s. The town is divided by a river with the working class and factories on one side of the river and the stores and land owners on the other. Typical of lots of other places.

The story begins with 4 women who are some of the uppity ups. They are sucked in to the world of avant garde art of the 70s and bring a disgusting poet to thier town to read some of his filthy poems. He needs to be shown around the town to kill time and Beanie Abernathy is stuck with that. But, there is a connection between them - and by the end of the afternoon Beanie is willing to walk away from a 30 year marriage to "feel" with Richard Rage the poet.

So - at this point I was intrigued. I kept reading.

I was introduced to Polly and Joy - two girls on the edge of adulthood. A pharmacist, Sammy Smalter, who is also a hidden crime author. Oh yeah, he is also a descendent of one of the town founders and a 'dwarf.' There is also Judith Haig who is a real ice princess with a bad heart and her husband is the town cop. And then there is Limon Barnum, an antique shop owner and hidden neo-nazi with a desire to feel his life - it doesn't really matter if that is a good or a bad feeling. There is Chin Henry, the Vietnamese refugee married to a total wacko, Maynard Henry. A cynical newspaperman, a male librarian connected to the elite and a town dr. sure that people are exhibiting signs of heart problems when none should exist. It kept sounding more and more like Gilmore Girls - a dark Gilmore Girls.

And then.. hidden on a stretch of swamp outside the town there is an odd government facility. A germ warfare facility that noone in town knows anything about.

So these are some of the players. I was waiting for all these players to meet up and explode. But, that didn't happen. Instead some of the players sort of fizzle out to nothing. Others flash and explode in unexpected ways. But, I still didn't really care.

And. then. the. book. just. ENDS....

So, I feel like I've slogged through all these pages, been engrossed and been bored and at the end it just stopped.

I hate books like that!!!

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