Monday, November 4, 2013

A Discovery of Witches

Maybe someday Breaking Bad will be in syndication and Jesse Pinkman will say stuff like "What are you looking at, Witch!" And the world will not be a better place for it, not at all.   A Discovery of Witches is not about going to the food co-op or the local drum circle.  I am not going to put any spoilers in here but its about a history scholar on a fellowship to Oxford and finds a fancy magical book.  First, its obvious that this is fiction because she has tenure.  Second, it does have some supernatural characters.  Not just witches but other-types like .... maybe a Yeti?  Alas, no Yeti, but a girl can dream can't she?  I think a Yeti could make any story better and save some bad ones.  The Yetis of Madison CountyEat, Pray, Yeti or even 50 Shades of White

If you don't like thinking too much you will like this book.  I don't think there is any chance you are one of those people though.  The plot in this book is kind of interesting because it involves allegory in alchemy, supernatural international conspiracies, wine and hot men.  Good start....good start....oh wait, the protagonist makes Phyllis Schlafly look like a raging feminist.  I'll wait.  Here is a young tenured brilliant Yale professor who suddenly falls in love with a control-freak who is a manipulator, a liar and dangerous but he loves her and would kill for her.  WTH.  Gross.  Even her parents speak from the grave and tell her that she needs this man and he was destined for her.  Dammit!

This story had potential.  I just can't get over the main character.  I mean she gets a ultra rare alchemy book (her life's work) and gets distracted by another book, which she's read before, because her man put handwritten notes in it and she will "understand" him better.  By the way, he is sitting right there, I mean just ask him, these people have some serious communication issues.  The author, Deborah Harkness is a PhD, scholar and academic, she should know better.  I think this is the classic case of "if only a man would make all my decisions for me then I wouldn't have to write that abstract due on Friday." Granted the details on the history of science and alchemy are first-rate but damn it, this book puts the feminist movement back 50 years.  I am not the only person that had issues with the romance aspect of the book, sadly, the romance is central.

You should drink this book with wine, lots and lots of red wine.  There are detailed descriptions of wine, but I don't think some of these wines exist.  Drink with a beautiful Bordeaux and drink so much that you wish some man would save you, well at least hold your hair over the toilet. 

1 comment:

  1. "What makes you think she is a witch?"
    "She turned me into a newt!"
    "A newt?"
    "I got better."

    I couldn't resist...