Friday, February 13, 2009

Another classic bites the dust

Sigh. I started Pillars of the Earth, by Ken Follett, and it seemed to be going well. I wasn't overly enthused, but didn't actively hate it so I kept going.

Until. The wife of the character of Tom Builder dies in childbirth - in the middle of winter in a forest. Tom and his family are travelling around, scratching out a living while Tom looks for work.

So. His wife, who we have already heard Tom loves very much, dies. Tom digs a grave and buries her, and then exposes the baby to the winter elements. Cruel yes, but I can understand his 12th-century reasoning _ he still has two children to feed and no convenient wetnurse for the baby in the middle of winter. What stopped me was this:
Tom suffers an attack of the guilts, and he and his children return for the baby, who is gone. They lie down for a bit of a sleep and Tom wakes up to find a woman he had met before lying down with him. They do the horizontal tango, and she tells him she's been waiting for a man like him. Then Tom asks her to marry him, after they find out the baby had been discovered by a monk.

That bugged me. Really?? So grief-stricken the DAY after your wife has died and you expose your newborn to a harsh winter, you shag some woman in the forest who you then ask to marry you.

I'm sorry, but I can't buy into that. Not even in the 12th century.

So. A new classic for February. I had a probables v possibles list here:

I'm thinking either Dracula, or Howard's End, to replace it. Otherwise, my list will just completely derail.



Nymeth said...

Ah well...better luck with your next one!

Maree said...

Yep. Onwards, right ... ;)

Colleen said...

good lord that does sound excessive. I picked up The Bourne Identity because I love the move and know the book is a classic in that genre. I actually threw the book across the room less than 100 pages in because women just don't talk and act like that! I popped that damn book right into the to be donated pile- sounds like Pillars of the Earth should head that way too!

Joanne said...

Acckk ... that sounds really umm strange. I agree that it doesn't reflect well on his character to so suddenly fall in with another woman. But is it normal for a man to fall asleep in the forest, wake up next to a woman, do the deed and think nothing weird is going on?

I'd go with Dracula next, good old-fashioned horror :)

Maree said...

Joanne: I thought he was dreaming at first, which would have made more sense. But ... no