Sunday, April 8, 2018

A Shell of a Story: Hiddensee

Hiddensee: A Tale of the Once and Future Nutcracker by [Maguire, Gregory]I'm a big fan of The Nutcracker, and thoroughly enjoyed seeing Wicked when it first debuted on Broadway, so I came eager to Gregory Maguire's novel Hiddensee, supposedly a retelling of the classic tale. Supposedly.

The sample that I read on Kindle before committing to the book was tantalizing-full of mystery and magic, and everything that the rest of the book sorely lacked. I honestly don't know what the book's ultimate purpose was. It focuses on Dirk Drosselmeier throughout his ho-hum life. The only interesting thing that happens to him is a transcendental experience when he is a boy lost in a forest. For the whole rest of the book, I was waiting to see how that would play out, what other magical visions or adventures Dirk was to have. Sadly, Dirk's life was so passive that he was practically invisible to the people with whom he interacts, and nothing significant comes of his encounter in the woods.

Likewise, the rest of the characters, and even the places that take up the bulk of this book, are not brought to life for me in any meaningful way.  They are all so very wooden, and none very interesting, so that as Dirk moves from one boring chapter of his life to the next, I didn't really care as people entered and left the story, and was left with nothing but a stoic character wandering through an aimless plot that pretended it was about a lost forest and classical gods, but in fact really wasn't about that, or about anything much at all. All references to anything remotely interesting-gods or nutcrackers-were so derivative that I angrily pondered the purpose for this book's existence as the story drew to an unsurprisingly useless close.

K. Rating 0/5. A zero is reserved for those special books that I never should have finished, but for whatever stupid reason, did

Image result for nutcracker
Next Christmas, I will simply go to see the ballet instead

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