Sunday, November 22, 2015

300 Rains by Heather O'Malley

I begin to read 300 Rains by Heather O’Malley once before and couldn't get through the wordiness of it, so I quit about one-third of the way in. However, when I began to see so many glowing reviews about this work pop up, I somehow thought that perhaps it was me. Maybe I wasn't in a good space when I attempted to read it for the first time, so I picked it up and began again.

I’m writing this review only to provide some balance to all the “glowing,” and curiously, mostly very brief reviews that have been posted. I have long been of the opinion that if you have nothing to say that is good about a book, it probably would be better not to say anything. After all, a typical author invests considerable time and energy in telling their tale. On the plus side, this particular author is obviously very knowledgeable about matters both academic and anthropological and her book is well-edited.

However, I found the story that was presented to be so far-fetched as to be ridiculous. Although the author has knowledge of gender variance, she included almost every possible element that could exist in a transgender novel, and put them all together in a long-winded and drawn out concoction, leading to what most of the reviewers felt is a highly moralistic and inspiring ending. Well, I beg to differ about the ending. I found it to be “much ado about very little.” I don't want to spoil the reading experience for those who still want to attempt this novel, so I won’t go into detail. I'd really like you to formulate your own conclusion, if you choose.

On balance, I feel that this book was a bloated attempt at a transgender novel that fell completely flat. Although the story held some promise, I did not like how it was “teased” out longer and longer, and I particularly did not like the ending. Perhaps this was so because I expected so much more after reading the views of the scores of reviews of the positive reviewers.

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