Scott D. Parker
I’ll be brutally honest: if I’m not enjoying a book, I pull the rip cord and parachute to the next book. This includes the books in my SF book club. The other guys used to push forward, slogging through the mire of a bad book. Not me. Life’s too short to read bad books.
Before I started Project Hail Mary, the latest novel by Andy Weir, one of my friends made an observation: “I think Andy knows how to write one book.”
Uh-oh, I thought. Having not even started Project Hail Mary, my hand was already primed to pull the rip cord.
Then again, Weir’s first book was pretty good. If you’ve read The Martian, then you know that it’s a first-person narrative in which our hero must solve the challenge of staying alive on Mars until a rescue mission arrives.
Project Hail Mary begins somewhat the same way: Our initially unnamed hero wakes up on a spaceship and doesn’t know why. Over time, we learn he is on a mission to literally save the Earth. That would be why the title of the book as well as the spaceship is named “Hail Mary.”
Like The Martian, hero, Grace Ryland, gradually begins his first-person narration as he slowly starts to remember everything as his brain gets back in gear after a three-year coma as the ship flew out to our nearest star, Tau Ceti.
I’ll admit that in the first hour of the audiobook, I did start to roll my eyes. There was a lot of math and some of it, I just didn’t get. Well, until Grace started to do the Star Trek thing where he’d tell you all the actual math, then give you an example regular readers could understand. In that early hour or so, I bumped up the narration speed to 1.5. It was beally begins his first-person narration as he slowly starts to remember everything as his brain gets back in gear after a three-year coma as the ship flew out to our nearest star, Tau Ceti.
I bumped up the narration speed to 1.5 which was actually not bad. It gave the narration a snark the regular-speed narration didn’t have. And I’d get through the book sooner.
Interestingly, however, I actually started to like the narrator, the story, and even the math. It was quite fascinating.
And then the Big Twist occurred, and I actually grinned like a goofball and pumped my fist.
Days later, no longer rolling my eyes, I finished the book and really, really enjoyed it
So, I have a somewhat standard for how long I give a book. It’s about an hour for an audio and more or less 50-75 pages of an actual book. Do you have something similar? Or do you always finish every book you start?
Saturday, August 5, 2023
How Long Before You Give Up on a Book?