Book Review: Thumbs down for Annie Freeman’s Fabulous Traveling Funeral.

annie freeman.JPGSo what do you do when a book you are reading is terrible?

I’ve never walked out of the theater in the middle of a movie, and I quit watching only one rented movie that I can remember (for the record, I would have never picked Lethal Weapon IV, had it been up to me). I’m a pretty good judge of movies to start with, and I figure even if it is bad, it’s only a two hour investment of my time.

But a book? She is a labor of love. Hours. Weeks. Time invested.

I’m only half way through Annie Freeman’s Fabulous Traveling Funeral, and I am so annoyed with it. It is melodramatic and tedious. It is unrealistic. I keep reading because the concept is so lovely, and I keep hoping something amazing will happen.

But it is executed so immaturely.

These are supposed to be women in their fifties fulfilling their dead friend’s last wish to have her ashes scattered in four meaningful places around the country, but they all come off as peppy high school girls who are crying over their latest boyfriend drama.

I know it’s “chick lit,” but I didn’t know chick lit had to be that bad to fit the genre. I was just looking for a fun book about friendship, because the alternative topics for novels seems to be death, loss, affairs of the heart, or other depressing topics, and I started this while on vacation.

I was talking to a friend about how bad this book is, and she made a good point. Thelma and Louise was good, The Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood was good, and when you have greatness, people try to cash in on that same idea. But girlfriends, while Annie Freeman’s Fabulous Traveling Funeral had the potential to be a truly hilarious and touching book, it makes me want to scratch my eyes out.

So, do I quit reading? Or be a purist and trudge through to the end?

6 thoughts on “Book Review: Thumbs down for Annie Freeman’s Fabulous Traveling Funeral.”

  1. Heh. I just trudged through The Book Borrower. I finish because I start, no matter how painful. I didn’t allow myself to pick up anything else in between in fear of the painful, obligatory return…… At least there were a couple gems in the difficult journey.

  2. Nancy Pearl, my book guru, says that you should give a book 100 pages minus your age. So if you’re 35 like me, you get to decide after 65 pages whether it’s worth your time or not. And if you’re 100, you get to judge a book by the cover!
    I struggle with “giving up” on things, too. I find that if I’m obeying Nancy’s “rule”, I’m still a rule-follower and therefore it’s ok when I jettison a book after 65ish pages.

    Bad books are so not worth your time. You’ve read enough to know that if it’s this bad this far, it’s not going to get better. (Versus a book where the writing itself is exquisite, even if the subject matter is not particularly engaging – I’m never disappointed when I stick it out for one of those!)

  3. my fancy link didn’t work. Here’s Nancy’s site: (She used to be with the Seattle Public Library and then for the Center of the Book – she’s also the model for Archie McPhee’s shushing librarian action figure!)

  4. I always read the ending first and if I like it, then I start from the beginning πŸ™‚ I believe that all is well that ends well and life is too short to read a book that doesn’t end well πŸ˜‰

  5. I used to struggle with this until I did it the first time. I give books a fair chance–It get about half way through and if I’m still not feeling it, I put it in the trade-in pile. Save your time and read something good! I just read Extremely Load and Incredibly Close. It was very good. And if you haven’t read the Time Traveler’s Wife, you simply MUST MUST MUST go get it now!

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