Gah, gah, gah. I don’t dislike these books because it fails to come close to the goals it set for itself. Not because it misleads you as a consequence of that failure. For all these shortcomings, I am pointing fingers: Oh, dear Main Character: See, you don’t need to draw my sympathies. Hell, I don’t even have to like you. But I need to respect you—your intelligence, especially, your willingness to act and think. Beyond your responsibilities to the text you exist in—because, hey, isn’t it your author’s job to makethat work?—you need to make sense, goddammit. You need to do justice to the worldyou exist in. You need to be a person who, regardless of whether or not I agree with your actions, makes the effort to do something. You need to not waste my time. You need to be a person who I do not have to punch in the nargles if I see you idling in a street corner, okay?
I talk about State of Wonder by Ann Patchett and The Lake by Banana Yoshimoto. And, also, about trying not to punch fictional characters in the nargles. Da-dum.