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Tuesday, May 11, 2010

The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie by Alan Bradley

Finally! I'm done! The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie has been read and crossed off of my TBR list.  And now I must ask you not to hate me, because truthfully, though I did enjoy aspects of the book, I did not love it. I found it to be rather predictable, long-winded and slightly dull at times.  There were moments when I had to put the book down or just rush ahead in order to avoid a passage that went on about something or other that just didn't hold my interest.  I can understand why this book would be a bestseller and how so many people fell under its spell, but I just wasn't one of those people.  Don't get me wrong, Flavia de Luce is ace. I loved her character's carefree spirit; her love of chemistry and potions; her experiments on her rotten sisters; and her faithful bike Gladys.  What I didn't care for was everything else. 

It is the summer of 1950 - and at the once-grand mansion of Buckshaw, young Flavia de Luce, an aspiring chemist with a passion for poison, is intrigued by a series of inexplicable events: A dead bird is found on the doorstep, a postage stamp bizarrely pinned to its beak.  Then hours later, Flavia finds a man lying in the cucumber patch and watches him as he takes his last breath.

For Flavia, who is both appalled and delighted, life begins in earnest when murder comes to Buckshaw. "I wish I could say I was afraid, but I wasn't.  Quite the contrary.  This was by far the most interesting thing that had ever happened to me in my entire life."

From that summary (found on back of book) alone, I was positive that I was in for a treat. But I wasn't.  I just don't think that the book was my cup of tea. Perhaps if I was a kid reading about Flavia, I would have enjoyed the book more. The sneaking out of the house, magic tricks, and intriguing mystery behind the stamp pinned to the bird's beak - all of these things would have caught my attention once upon a time.  However, in the now, I just wasn't as enthralled by it all as I had hoped.  Oh well, different strokes for different folks - in this case, books.

12 comments:

dolcebellezza said...

I have a feeling that if you did not love it, I won't either. However, I'll get back to you when I've crossed it off my TBR list, too. Probably this summer. ;)

Aths said...

That description does sound intriguing! Too bad it is predictable and dull at times, it did look like it had a lot of promise. I don't think I will be hurrying to read it either now.

StephanieD said...

I have to admit that those two paragraphs would have hooked me right in - if it weren't for your review. Thanks for saving me!

Rob said...

I've been looking forward to reading the book (it's sitting on my shelf) but now I'm not so sure. I'll let you know if it's my cup of tea.

Kalanna said...

I could have written the exact same review of this book. And I did mostly. You are not alone. hehe

Tom Cunliffe said...

Its disappointing when you have high expectations and they turn out not to be realised. Oh well, on to the next one I suppose!

jmisgro said...

I didn't make it very far before I stopped reading it! I hope the next book is better!

Wallace said...

I'm with you on this one. I liked the second half far more than the first, and I still found myself skipping ahead at certain parts. I had decided not to read the next one, but have a road trip coming up and it happens to be due back at the library right before I leave. I might just pick it up and see if Bradley hasn't made the new work a bit tighter than this one.

Emily said...

Lovley blog! This is hte first book blog that I've found interesting...its like a modern book club! I'm reading The Help right now and can't put it down. Keep up the good work. x London Zest

Karen said...

Sorry to hear this one wasn't your cup of tea. I really loved it - mostly because of Flavia I think but I have to say I was really disappointed with the second book in the series which has just been released.

Lisa said...

I don't think that you're the only one that didn't like this one. I'm on the fence about it so I probably won't read it for at least a while. There are too many things that I am eager to get to.

Violet said...

Oh, I adore this book. I think it's brilliant. But, it obviously wasn't your cup of tea. :)