Monday, August 4, 2008

(76) More Than It Hurts You by Darin Strauss



Maybe this book should only count as 75.5 because I admit that I basically read every other chapter.
So sue me. *grin*
Darin Strauss takes on the subject matter that has yet to be tackled in a fictional book, that I am aware of, anyway. Munchausen Syndrome by Proxy. This is what Wikipedia has to say about this:
Fabricated or induced illness (FII), or factitious
disorders
, originally and more commonly known as Munchausen syndrome or Munchausen syndrome
by proxy (MSbP), are
insidious disorders in which injury is deliberately and gradually inflicted upon
a person usually for gaining attention[1] or
some other benefit[2].
The
caregiver is usually a parent, guardian, or spouse, and the victim is usually a
child or vulnerable adult. Although cases with feigned or induced physical
illness receive the most attention, it is also possible for a perpetrator who
emotionally abuses a victim to simulate and fabricate conditions that appear to
be psychiatric or genetic problems.[clarify]
More Than It Hurts You is the story of Josh & Dori Goldin & their son Zach. The gist of the story is that Josh is busy at his high powered advertising job when he secretary tells him that he must meet his wife at the emergency room, there is a problem with Zach.
This is where I started to tune out & just start reading every other chapter. This is where I just absolutely started to despise both Josh & Dori Goldin. They are the most unlikeable characters I have ever seen on paper. Self absorbed, racist, homophobic assholes. Plain & simple. I just wanted to rip through pages & smack them both silly.
When the doctor, the "black, woman doctor" as Josh is always quick to refer to her as, gets a funny feeling & starts to question the motives of this young couple. It is then, that their life starts to crumble.
The rest of the book involves another trip to the emergency room, home visits from CPS, an a lawsuit come into the story. Chapter after chapter of the BS that Dori spins just makes you want to vomit. It is the last page of the book before the truth hits Josh square in the face.
Blah. This story could have been so much more. I am really quite disappointed.

3 comments:

darinstrauss said...

Hi,
I'm the author of the book. I always enjoy reader comments -- even negative ones. I planned to make Dori and Josh less than perfect; I think more complicated characters make literature closer to real life. But besides your not liking Dori & Josh, you write that "the book could have been so much more." I'm wondering how -- did you not like the writing itself? How aout the character of Darlene?

Many thanks,
Darin Strauss

Charlotte's Web of Books said...

Well, hello there, sir! Thank you for reading my blog!! This is going to be a fast post as I am on my way out the door to work.



Now, I will be the first to admit that I am not the end all and be all for books and reviewing books. And everyone has their different preferences when it comes to books, but I am sorry if I came across as harsh.

As for your characters, I understand why you made them less than perfect, but WHY? You almost had to make them so unlikeable because of the subject matter. But,what in their past has made them to be so callous and self absorbed?

You went into great detail about Darlene's past & her father & such, but Josh & Dori? They both appeared to lack any depth or emotion. And maybe that was your intention. Is Dori a selfish woman just because she is? Or did something happen in her past to cause such insecurities?

I admit to reading authors such as Jodi Picoult, Anita Shreve, & others that evoke a myriad of emotions with their words. The only emotion I felt with this book was pure anger. And I was disappointed that there wasn't more there to pull out other emotions.

Maybe compassion or empathy or ANYTHING else, besides just anger!

Again, thank you for reading.

Ali said...

I haven't read the book but as an aspiring author I know that if an author is able to elicit strong emotion out of the reader, that's a good thing! Sounds like the characters struck a nerve. I'm actually intrigued now and will probably read the book just to find out if I hate the characters as much as you did. :-)

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