"Outside of a dog, a book is a man's best friend. Inside of a dog it's too dark to read." Groucho Marx

Thursday, January 2, 2014

The Yellow Eyes of Crocodiles by Katherine Pancol

I love a book with lots of characters and a couple subplots to go along with the main theme. Pancol's, The Yellow Eyes of Crocodiles, definitely fulfilled my wishes in that respect. Beyond that, I was disappointed. I wish I was fluent in French so I could read this novel in its original format. I suspect a great deal of the linguistic magic was quite literally, lost in translation. 

The characters fell flat for me, leaving me detached from their trials and successes. The subplots are weak and often baffling as to their purpose and resolution. I don't like sports but I LOVE sports movies. I love the prevailing hero, the winner against all odds. What I love about sports movies is also what I look for in fiction. I want a hero. I want an underdog, at some point, to come out on top announcing victory against all odds. I didn't find a hero here. All the potential in the world exists for a number of heroes, but alas, not one comes forth with the passion of a big win. Main character, Jos├ęphine, never takes her power back with the fervor I hoped to see. I want to jump up from my chair and shout "Atta girl!" or some other like sentiment but there's none of that here. Just quiet acceptance of the potential to make an impact and then the final curtain falls. 

This novel is right on the verge of taking its place among my favorite sports-movieesque novels, it just never quite makes it. Perhaps the most poignant aspect of my disappointment is that Pancol created characters struggling with some very difficult and heart wrenching challenges but even with the groundwork all laid, the passion in those trials is missing and the opportunity to create dynamic, vibrant, lasting characters is missed. The emotions are mentioned but more as credits rolling by. I couldn't feel for characters written without feeling.

You will find an official plot line description at: https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/809094664.

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