Thursday, August 18, 2011

Snow Flower and the Secret Fan, 38/100

Not overly creative with the book covers, were they?

So after the success that was reading The Help, I decided to read the other book club fav that hit the screens over the weekend. But I should have trusted my initial instinct and never read Lisa See's Snow Flower and the Secret Fan.

The premise of the book, or at least what I thought was the premise prior to reading, is interesting enough. Two women, separated under an oppressive patriarchal and Confucian society, bend the rules by writing to each other in a secret language, concealing their forbidden friendship. Then you read the book and find out the men can actually read the "secret" language, they just don't give a fuck. And the two women live like a mile apart. And they don't really write very much to each other. And their friendship isn't forbidden, but encouraged. In fact it was arranged for them, like an arranged wedding. UM, WHY WOULD I WANT TO READ THIS.

Guilty of Mary Shelley's crime in Mathilda, See throws tragic event after tragic event at the reader, without ever making us actually feel for the characters. As if by throwing as much plot at us as possible, we would just HAVE to emote for these women. There are two plot twists in the story, and I could see them from a million miles away. It also had a strange generational thing going on in the plot, paralleling the structure of Wuthering Heights.

I don't know, guys. I just wasted a lot of time reading it.

If there's one good thing I have to say about it, it's that the novel was better than the film. The film managed to take out all of the parts I actually liked, leaving behind an empty shell of WTF. Just 120 minutes of Bingbing Li making sad faces.

Why are they in modern Shanghai? Nothing makes sense. And Hugh Jackman is somehow in it. I don't understand anything anymore.

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