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Farewell Navigator: Stories by Leni Zumas

Farewell Navigator: Stories

by Leni Zumas

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This is the worst book I've read in a long time. The stories are full of themselves, dripping with this "ooh, I'm so deep because I write about X" feeling, yet they're so fake, like the author obviously has no clue what she's talking about. A good example would be the one about a girl who supposedly comes from a town so small it's not on any map, past or present, yet the town not only has a YMCA, it had two high schools until recently! A town as small as the one this girl is supposed to come from would probably not have a school at all, much less multiple high schools. I live in a city with a population of...wikipedia says 88,000 in 2006, surely more now, and there is only one high school!

That's the point at which I almost gave up on the book. I was halfway through and getting more and more annoyed with each story. But I did see it through to the end, mainly because it's only 170 pages.

But from the very first story I was annoyed. The first story is about a boy with blind parents. The portrayal is pretty damn offensive (the dad serves dinner full of blood because he cuts his fingers when he cooks; the mom is portrayed as a pathetic loser who tries to seduce the son's friend), and also sets the tone for the fatphobia that is a running theme throughout the book. Bad people are not only fat, but described in detail as being gross and disgusting and lazy slobs who sit around doing nothing and have no lives. Also all fat people are, of course, fat because all they do all day is stuff their faces.

There are also stupid factual errors like a girl's (fat, loser) mom who watches an old program about the Challenger, except the author couldn't be bothered to find out that the Challenger exploded on takeoff, not after it had been in space. (And it's just a casual mention, obviously not meant to be an alternate universe or anything.)

Like, do you have to be lazy on top of being offensive and pretentious? Really? Meh. ( )
  kyuuketsukirui | Mar 29, 2009 |
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