I read this awhile ago and am still fixing/updating my GR reviews one by one.
DNF because, shit, it’s boring
I have had a brand new paperback copy of The Ill Made Mute sitting in my pile of to be read books ever since I first bought it on a word of mouth recommendation back in 2001 or so. I probably should’ve read it then because now I have no patience for the tediously descriptive, wandering plot that comprises this story. That’s what happens when you realize you’re getting older and there are just not enough hours in the day to read boring books.
I’ll state up front that I tried to listen to this as an unabridged audiobook because I have faced the fact that I’ll never read all of the books in my pile in this lifetime. This may be part of the problem (but I really don’t think so). The narrator, a lovely woman no doubt, had such a sleep inducing, calming voice that listening to her read was like listening to a fairytale-like lullaby and I was nearly lulled to sleep from the very beginning. That coupled with the fact that after the initial scene, which was interesting enough to hook me, the book meandered on endlessly with nothing much at all happening for hours on end.
It begins when an adolescent falls into a dangerous plant that wipes its memory, makes it unable to speak and disfigures it horribly. I will say “it” not to be a big un-PC-meanie but because the unfortunate creature is disfigured so horribly the gender is no longer definable. It awakens to find a brutish crone hovering about and caring for its basic needs. The crone yells at and puts it to work when it recovers. Because of its ugliness the mute is forced to remain hidden behind a cloak and is rarely allowed to venture where others might see it. But the mute disobeys and sneaks out and thus begins the world’s most overly described adventure where every damn person it stumbles across just so happens to be a long winded spinner of tedious tales.
Now this all might have been tolerable if I didn’t feel distanced from every character who walks into the book and especially the eavesdropping mute who is the main character! I felt completely disconnected from him/her/it and thus the story was just insufferable to read and I gave up a little more than halfway. At one point the mute stows away on a ship and I had flashbacks of suffering through The Old Man and the Sea for class. Fortunately I didn’t have to finish The Ill-Made Mute to graduate, the perks of pleasure reading, and I’m calling it a day. I have the other two books in this series on audio as well but I’m not into self-torture this week and am going to delete them from my Ipod.