I have this thing about books and movies. Depending on the content, the book or movie will fall into either one of two categories: A)Content- where the plot and story are so good that the text is to be savored or B)Ending- where really, its not so much about how we get to the end, but what happens at the end. Literature like The Time Traveler’s Wife, books by Kathy Reichs and even the Devil Wears Prada (just a little–who doesn’t love the dirty details about are about the boss from hell) are about the content. They’re written well. The story unfolds easily, and without boring the reader to death. The characters are developed…even minimally. Just about anything I’d listen to on “tape”-MP3 (the Da Vinci Code, Agatha Christie novels, Mary Higgins Clark mysteries) belong to category B. Movies and books in category B are actually quite bad, but there is just something about them that makes me hang onto the plot long enough to gain substantial knowledge about the conflict to feel confident in succumbing to my need to just fucking end it and skip to the end…which is why I listen to them on “tape” during long car rides because a) I can’t skip to the end and b)they’re just serving the purpose of filling dead air through the desert. Well, over this break I discovered a third category of books: c) books to have a simering flame lit beneath them in order to save someone else from having to endure what I have just endured. For example, Remains of the Day author Kazuo Ishiguro’s Never Let Me Go. OMIGOD!!!!!!!! I can never get that day and a half back! After the first 20 pages, I actually went on line to search for the book in hopes of finding some vital clue about why I should give a fuck about these characters. The story wasn’t even intriguing enough to skip to the end. I imagine this is just how the movies of Remains of the Day and Howards’ End were like: slowly dragging along the invested audience until they realize it was for absolutely no pay off in the end. It was like the longest day ever…but through the memories of the central character Kathy H. Can I just say that this book seems to hold no central conflict or problem at all! Like, okay, it maybe a subtle conflict– an emotional unreliable narrator and her chronically bitchy friend—but not anything of substance. Maybe this just means I’m uncultured or illiterate…but at least I can say that I am helping the public by putting this warning out there: stay away from that book if you value your time. Cuz I obviously would have appreciated such a warning. ’twas not impressed, entertained, or educated. After this investment in time I am seriously reconsidering finishing The Handmaid’s tale. I just can’t do it. But I will try.