February 19th, 2007

I finished "Firesale" by Sara Paretsky on Friday.

I finished "Firesale" by Sara Paretsky on Friday and I wanted to say I liked this book but I can't.

I don't like this book (which sees Paretsky's main character go back to her old high school to coach basketball and become involved in a dispute between a contractor and a Wal-Martesque company) for a number of reasons. First, the lead character leaves me cold. Everyone seems to rave about the character, but I can't bring myself to like her.

My irritation may have something to do with the fact that most people call her by the surname. It automatically puts a distance between me and her, a distance I didn't particularly like. This seems to be a common trait of the Washawski character, because I read another book by Paretsky 3 or 4 years ago and had the same problems.

Secondly, I got irritated by the lengths she went to to make it obvious that the retailer in the book wasn't Wal-Mart (going so far as to say so at one point). This just tended to get me thinking about Wal-Mart too much, and that's something that just flat out irritates me.

At the moment I'm conducting a one person campaign against Wal-Mart. I refuse to shop there because of the impact they're having on the American economy, so spending a lot of time reading a book that uses their economic model as a template just felt like a waste of time after a while.

Finally, I might have read  to many detective novels, but I knew who was involved in the murder from the first time we met them, while kind of defeats the object of a whodunnit.

So all in all, not a bad book, but the author could've done better.