Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Reader's Diary #222- Timothy Taylor: Stanley Park (FINISHED!)

It seems that come every Canada Reads there's a book I want to lose almost as much as a book I want to win. Without even reading two of the books yet, I'm pretty sure that Stanley Park will be this year's Deafening.

I've begun to consider that maybe my postings are a little too extreme- books are either great marvels of writing or colossal pieces of crap. Actually, I'm probably more level headed with my good reviews. It's the bad ones that show lack of balance. This book will not break the trend. My theory is, when you waste a lot of time reading a bad book, you get bitter about it. When you read a good book, you rarely reflect back on all the good hours you spent with it.

Earlier I said that Stanley Park felt elitist. After completing the book, I'm under the impression that Taylor hoped readers would feel the opposite. Without going into the ending too much, the reader is supposed to think that the protagonist, Jeremy Papier, sticks it to those snooty, rich folk. But while Papier might have accomplished that, Taylor did not. His attempt to have readers cheer over his ending is obvious, "See, I've shown how phony those people really are! And not only that, I got them good in the end!" Unfortunately, it comes across as greasy and untrustworthy as a politician running for office. If we're truly to believe in his over-the-top preaching (evil rich guy at 12:00!), he shouldn't have wasted our time for the first 3/4 of the book essentially showing off what he knows about business and the world of the wealthy. It's like he wanted to defend the downtrodden "real" people, but not until he made it perfectly clear that he wasn't one of those poor unfortunate souls. If you're really out to stand up for someone, is it really be necessary to distance yourself from them first?

Yet it all makes for a great piece of irony. Much of Taylor's book seems to dwell on one's need to have a sense of place. Odd seeing as Taylor himself doesn't seem able to fit in anywhere himself- too good for the rich, too good for the poor. Pretty arrogant stuff if you ask me.