To finish, or not to finish

As I mentioned earlier this week, I’ve been reading Disclosure.  Tonight I’m facing a decision: to finish the book or not.

Normally I’ll tough it out through books that I’m not sure of; I try to only give up when books are really bad or really boring.  (The latter is more often true of non-fiction.)  There is a mitigating circumstance here, because I read the book before.

Here are my thoughts, and the reasons I will probably bail.

This story has two major plotlines.  The first is the advanced technology and (if memory serves) digital espionage.  This is the plotline that I remember enjoying, but on this read it hasn’t caught me.  It is very possible that this is because the tech is so very outdated, and also because I’m just not as invested as I was when the book was new to me.  I was already debating finishing the book because of this reason when I hit the second plotline, and an even bigger reason.

The second plot is the one that got all the attention when the book came out, specifically, the sexual harassment part.  Crichton was always a questioner of authority.  Should we really play with things we don’t understand?  What are the possible unintended consequences of new advances in science?  His more recent books were more obvious with this, addressing nanotech and global warming with pretty blatant opinions.  This book draws attention to the possibility of a female in power harassing a male subordinate.  While I applaud the effort to make sure that the goose is treated the same as the gander, he did it in a really in-your-face way that I’m not sure I like.  It makes me feel really awkward for the main character, which is a situation that I totally empathize with and also very much dislike.

I remember enjoying the book a lot as a teen, which is why I checked it out for a re-read.  (I’m not sure how I feel about my teenage self reading the scene I just finished, but much like when I read Silent Spring in fourth grade, I think there was a lot I glossed over since I didn’t understand it.)  Many of Crichton’s books are very suspenseful, and as a kid I think the main reason I liked this one is that it wasn’t as scary as Jurassic Park or Terminal Man (which gave me nightmares for weeks and caused me to tape my window shades to the frame).

After writing out my reasoning (and noticing Jurassic Park and Airframe sitting on my table waiting to be read) I think that I’ll give up on Disclosure for the time being.  I’ll hold on to it – it isn’t due back to the library for a couple of weeks – but I may not finish it after all.

1 Comment (+add yours?)

  1. Angie West
    Apr 07, 2013 @ 20:19:20

    Speed read, skim, and in general rush and cut to the end, then start on Jurassic Park 🙂 I’ve never read Terminal Man-I’ll have to check that one out.


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