Sunday, October 17, 2010


So I've figured out why The Windup Girl is so incredibly painful to read:

1. It's all about business. There is a reason I am not in the business school with all of my friends. I don't understand it, I don't like it. So I'm lost.

2. He never explains the meanings of words that aren't basic English. I didn't know what a megodont was until it actually died. And what the heck is a nightshade? Not to mention all the Thai words that he uses in the middle of sentences, thus completely losing the meaning of the sentence to anyone who doesn't speak Thai.

3. He doesn't describe his characters clearly. The only one that makes sense is the actual windup girl. Other than that, I have no idea who I'm reading about at any given time. I have no idea what the difference between a yellow card and a white shirt is. Or is it a white card and a yellow shirt? Ahhhh I have no clue.

4. 100 pages in (about half as far as I'd like to be) and as far as I can tell the story hasn't started yet. Not to mention all the mistakes in his writing that are distracting my inner grammar Nazi. I do not like his writing style at all.

Please for all that is good will someone tell me that this book gets better?

(No offense to Andy and his reading selection :D)


John Harris said...

At first I tried looking up every word I wasn't familiar with. I'm still doing that with the ones that seem pretty important, but if it is just something thrown in to the middle of a sentence then I just guess based on context. That, or I just assume that if it is important enough then it will be explained down the road. I'm not letting each word bog me down anymore.

Bailey said...

Well, I guess it's useless for me to remind you all about the poor sorority girl that gets lost in these things, but I agree with katy. Homeboy needs to quit with the fragments and such and please explain to me what the heck is going on. and stop using the word "dung" please.

Jenny Strack said...

I guess I didn't get so confused between the yellow cards and the white shirts, but I agree that all the random non-English words were not helpful in reading the book.

Mark Penner said...

Honestly, I am not too bothered by the random Thai/Chinese words interjected into the sentences. Like John said, if they are important then he will most likely explain them. Otherwise, I either ignore the word or substitute something that would make sense for the character to say in English.

Elizabeth said...

I agree with all 4 of these points. I'm finding it super hard to read and get into. Let alone to understand what is going on.

I feel like there isn't any plot development at all. Just a lot of nothing that makes for very very dense reading.

One thing to take into consideration when reading this book and looking at how it flows and the grammar is that it is a translation that the author did, and English is not his native language. A lot of translation boils down to whether the author wants to do a literal translation or a figurative translation that keeps the style and basic meaning. I feel like this guy went way literal.

Reading this book is like repeatedly hitting your head against the wall though...

Tristram said...

This is definately one of the more difficult stories of the semester. It took about 25 pages, or however long the first chapter is, before I even figured out what the megadont was. If you look up wai under wikipedia "Thai greeting" there is an excellent picture of a Ronald McDonald statue displaying a wai.