Thursday, March 15, 2018

Review - Bitter Grounds

Bitter Grounds
by Neil Gaiman
Date: 2003
Reading level: A
Book type: short story
Pages: 17
Format: e-book

Coffee, New Orleans & Zombies.

(synopsis from Goodreads)

This was a tricky one. On the one hand, it's Neil Gaiman. I've read some of his other short stories, as well as Coraline, so I thought it would be safe to assume that this would be a quality story. On the other hand, the typos were so bad that I was continually being distracted and thrown right out of the flow as I tried to figure out what the sentences with messed-up punctuation or missing words were trying to say.

Aside from that, though, this is the sort of story that doesn't really work for me. It starts so late that we basically just get an ending, to both the story and the character arc. Who was this nameless narrator? Had he been zombified? If so, where/when? Before he got to New Orleans? What happened with Anderton and the tow truck driver? What was going on with the anthropologists? Were they just a bunch of weirdos, or were they tied into the zombie stuff, too? Was everyone?

Overall, I just feel like I read the last few pages of a book and am utterly confused as to what the thing was even about.

Quotable moment:

In every way that counted, I was dead. Inside somewhere maybe I was screaming and weeping and howling like an animal, but that was another person deep inside, another person who had no access to the face and lips and mouth and head, so on the surface I just shrugged and smiled and kept moving. If I could have physically passed away, just let it all go, like that, without doing anything, stepped out of life as easily as walking through a door, I would have done. But I was going to sleep at night and waking in the morning, disappointed to be there and resigned to existence.

Plot: 1/5
Characters: 2/5
Pace: 2/5
Writing & Editing: 2/5
Originality: 2/5

Enjoyment: 1/5

Overall Rating: 1.57 out of 5 ladybugs

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