ZOMG THIS BOOK TOOK SO LONG TO READ!! You know those ones? Where you feel like you’re reading them at all possible opportunities – waiting for the bus, on the bus, waiting for class, waiting for your ramen noodles to boil [I am a walking college sterotype] – and you’re STILL NOT DONE? WHY AM I NOT DONE?
The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford – Ron Hansen
Ok, now I’m done.
The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford wasn’t so much long in terms of pages (389 at last count, but really, that’s peanuts these days), but it certainly seemed interminable. And it wasn’t even that bad, it was just…you know those movies that you come away from all, That movie was all car chases and explosions? TAOJJBTCRF was all train robberies and shoot-outs and outlaws slouching around glaring suspiciously at each other.
It wasn’t until about halfway through that I could pin down any characters except the titular ones, and that’s only because by then, half of them were dead and didn’t matter. Also around that time is when I stopped glazing over for whole paragraphs and not caring enough to back up and re-read them. Let’s just say, the first half? She slow. The second half? Better like Crispers are better for you than chips, which is to say, not much.
So, the coward Robert Ford (we all know how I like calling people names, and this title just tickled me right. I have been led so astray) joins the Jesse James band of bandits as a young, worshipful teenager. Jesse is charismatic and infamous and played by Brad Pitt in the 2007 movie; Bob Ford is skinny and pouty and played by the Affleck who isn’t Ben. Over time, Bob becomes less idolizing and more, shall we say, violently jealous, and then he shoots Jesse in the head.
The whole thing (the bits that I wasn’t spaced out for) was kind of fascinating in the way Bob slid into his pit of envy and snakes, and the way his hopes for becoming famous like Jesse by snuffing the man went so horribly south. The execution (of the book, I mean. I didn’t want to make this terrible pun, but I couldn’t think of a word that meant what I mean to say here, except execution. The delivery? The…way it was done?), on the other hand, had a few too many feet lunging into boots and people turning connotatively (WTF?). Again, I’m all for the interesting use of language, but it seemed out of place here. Also, there were too many pages.