Book #4 – Animal Husbandry by Laura Zigman
As I was walking through the library, headed toward the science fiction & fantasy section, a book on the end of a general fiction shelf caught my eye. Animal Husbandry. The rather large portion of my brain that has been wasted on movie trivia wondered if this was the book that Someone Like You… was based on. I’m a sucker for reading the source materials of movies I know and like. It’s like reading multiple translations of the same Russian poem–will the translator go for a rhyming scheme or will he go for a more literal translation? After reading the first few pages, I decided the book would be a tolerable read. I’m not generally a fan of relationship fiction. My interest in the genre only extends to a good-sized handful of chick flicks, Someone Like You… being one of those.
The movie follows the conceits of the first two-thirds of the book and then veers into the land of most Hollywood romantic comedies: the girl must end up with a guy at the end. Gone from the movie is Jane’s gay best friend. I’m guessing that the screenwriters had decided there where already too many gay best friends in chick flicks by the time the movie was made. Instead, the movie has the married-couple friends, which I’m not sure entirely works in the context of the story. The book is bleaker, for the most part. While many aspects of the story are told and retold, the ending was rushed. Zigman’s style is light and conversational with a great deal of humorous call-back references. Each chapter is preceded by a quote from ‘scientific’ sources and these are used to good effect. (I imagine rounding up proper quotes would be a good deal of work. I had enough trouble finding one for the beginning of one of my novels.) In all, a fun read though unfocused at times.
On a general reading note, I’m trying to read faster. It’s worked thus far with fiction, but I haven’t tried it out with non-fiction. I’m not sure how much it will affect my retention/comprehension. My next library book is Jack Holland’s Misogyny, so I’ll how well that goes.