Thursday, January 12, 2006
Waiting for Gertrude by Bill Richardson
I tried, I really, really tried to give this 50 pages before I gave up on it, but I just couldn't manage. I'm disappointed, because I found Richardson's "Bachelor Brothers Bed & Breakfast" books quite funny and was hoping for another light, amusing read. Instead I get this really silly and annoying book! The main character is supposed to be a cat that is the reincarnation of a person (some obscure dead female writer) who is buried in Pere Lachaise Cemetery in Paris. She lives in a community of cats who represent other famous people buried in said cemetery - yep, Jim Morrison and Oscar Wilde and Marcel Proust, etc. The book jumps around, a mishmash of first person narrative as the main cat pines for the woman she loved when she was in human form and waits for this person to be reincarnated as a cat, letters between other characters, poems and recipes. Everything is written in different, very wordy and flowery "voices" to represent the various dead people who are supposedly now equally eloquent in their new feline bodies. In my opinion, Richardson hasn't managed to pull it off - it's just too contrived for me.