Thursday, February 21, 2013

9. Life on a Rock

Life on a Rock by K. A. Albury

I read a lot of travelogues and have traveled to similar places myself so I was very interested to read this book when I stumbled upon it, unfortunately it didn't live up to what I had hoped for. A number of the exceedingly high reviews and comments come from people that seem to know Mrs. Albury personally, and I have to say that probably has an effect on their ratings. As a completely objective reader I did find the writing to be just OK, more in line with a travel journal a family member might write on vacation than anything. It also must be noted that much of the book really goes nowhere or accomplishes anything of real value, and many stories abruptly end or major events that get built up to and then are never explained. There are some small vignettes of specific events and happenings that are very engrossing and enjoyable, exciting even, but they are few and far between and get mired in a lot of repetitive bits. It also is very hard for an unbiased reader to not pick up on some glaring issues and themes. These are relatively well-off people that are not used to manual labor and actual work, and for all of the complaining and whinging it is hard to feel sympathetic. The author attempts to portray herself as a sympathetic figure but it just falls entirely flat. There are complaints about money throughout being tight but they buy a 19' Mako boat on a whim, take trips all over the place, own a horse, fly whenever/wherever they want, and more. It really is just a rich couple having to live like normal people, and still far above the level of most around them. That brings me to my next issue, and one another reviewer of this book mentioned. The portrayal and attitude towards the local staff members comes off very poorly. I won't go so far as to say racist as someone else did but that isn't far off. This book has some good aspects to it but on the whole it is tedious and tiresome and there are just so many truly wonderful books in this genre that it isn't worth the effort. 2/5 (Poor)

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