As I have suspended my ban on buying books for Love Your Indie Month, I went ahead and picked up a copy of James Kennedy’s The Order of Odd Fish, which first came to my attention after I read a highly entertaining short story on his blog. Last night I read 130 pages of it–about a third of the book–and…I think I’m going to put it down and move on to something else.
It isn’t that the book is bad. It isn’t. In fact, I think that if this book had been handed to me when I was eight years old I would have read it and re-read it, laughing uproariously every time. But while I have a great appreciation for absurdity, I think that to stay entertained these days I need some degree of subtlety or connection to reality. The Order of Odd Fish is a fabulously mad, over the top cartoon. The images are outrageous, but the story just isn’t capturing me. I’ve been reading a lot of books marketed as YA lately. Some, like M. T. Anderson’s books I don’t think I could have fully appreciated when I was young. Scott Westerfeld’s Uglies series I find light, entertaining reading that may have seemed more fraught with meaning to me when I was younger, but I suspect I would have related to about the same coming to it at any age. The Order of Odd Fish I think I came to too late to appreciate the way it should be. I will try to get my copy to someone it will have the chance to touch more significantly.