February 16, 2011

the wednesday bookshelf: food from the sky

Our friend Lannis (she of the marble run), mentioned The Suck Fairy to me a while ago, and while I'm familiar with the phenomenon, I didn't know that she had a name.

She does. You can read more about her in Jo Walton's post on Tor.com. If you don't want to go to the trouble, let me quote the most relevant part:
The Suck Fairy comes in when you come back to a book that you liked when you read it before, and on re-reading—well, it sucks.
Alas, I cannot blame The Suck Fairy from ruthlessly sucking my enjoyment out of Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs. I can blame her close relative (possibly her slightly less hip twin sister), The 137th Re-read to a Toddler Fairy.

Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs Re-read (as I like to call her, since we know each other so well) has powers that vary depending on the strength of the book in question. I never thought she'd be able to cast her diabolical spell over this book, but she's gone and done it.

I remember haplessly looking for Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs while still (very) childless. I was that customer in the bookstore - the one that remembers only "There was food falling from the sky? You know?" when describing it to multiple - and often equally hapless - bookstore employees. But the call of this book was so strong that I pursued it over the span of a few years. When I finally got my hands on it (and this is really important) it didn't suck.

The story was still great. Food falls from the sky in the town of Chewandswallow, and then the weather takes a turn for the worse. I was still intrigued, and I still wanted to live there. How could I fail to be entertained?

By reading it 137 times, that's how. By read 75 or thereabouts, I was already annoyed with the fact that Chewandswallow only has 300 residents, but has the main street of a town with a population of 10,000. By read 114, I started skipping the framing story altogether.

And here, at 137, I can assure you that I never want to look at this book ever again.

Ever. Again.

Nevertheless, I will recommend this book to you. Despite the fact that they made it into a movie (book snob!), it is still worth getting, but only if you can get it without the movie poster on the front of it.

Just don't read it 137 times, that's all.