Book Blurbs · Book Club Pick

Book Blurbs: The Yellow Eyes of Crocodiles

Book Blurbs is a monthly peek into our book club meetings, where we share our random thoughts or opinions on the book we selected for the month. Some months most of us have read the book, others no one made it all the way through. But either way, we’ll give you a quick review, some first impressions, a reason we couldn’t finish, or any general bookish thoughts about our current read.

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Book Club’s April read was The Yellow Eyes of Crocodiles by Katherine Pancol (translated by William Rodarmor and Helen Dickinson), a story about a family forced to reinvent their relatively unhappy lives after their unemployed husband/father movies to Kenya to start a crocodile farm with his mistress. His wife, Josephine, the main character, is left to raise the children and make ends meet, which she does by ghostwriting a medieval romance novel that’s published under her socialite sister’s name. All sorts of hijinks ensue!

 

Read on to see what Book Club Sunday thought about The Yellow Eyes of Crocodiles:

 

I didn’t read it. I saw that it was compared to Le Divorce and that was enough to prejudice me against it. I tried to read Le Divorce once for like 5 years (2 weeks) and it was just too boring for my little 18 year old mind.

~Andrea, didn’t read the book

 

Am I too late? I thought it sounded good but when I realized it wasn’t in fact about Crocodile Hunter Steve Irwin, I lost all interest.

~Molly, who isn’t too late, and didn’t read the book

 

I found The Yellow Eyes of Crocodiles to be a funny, light read. Set in Paris and somehwere in Africa on a crocodile farm (where was he?!), the story could have been perceived as heavy/sad but I read it differently. I enjoyed being in other people’s lives and drama for a bit – and as always, I love international settings! It wasn’t what I thought it would be but overall I enjoyed it and I may even read the second book.

~Danielle, read the whole book

 

I read the whole thing! The book jacket fooled me with words like “delightful” and assurances that I would read this book with a big smile on my face. I did not find it delightful, nor did I read it with a big smile on my face. I don’t know if maybe it’s something about French books that have sort of a melancholy tone (I realize that’s a sweeping generalization that I shouldn’t make) but I really don’t like melancholy. I didn’t like that everyone’s lives were a mess, every marriage fell apart, things weren’t resolved. A book that promises to be a delight shouldn’t leave characters still in misery. And should definitely not end with any of them (spoiler alert) being eaten by crocodiles.

~Sarah, read the whole book

 

I made it through somewhere between ½ and ¾ of the book this month. I didn’t find any of the characters particularly compelling, though I was fairly interested in how the ghostwriting storyline was going to play out. I wanted to like it. It was described on the back of the book as “hilariously entertaining.” If it was hilarious, I didn’t get the joke. By the time our book club meeting rolled around, I hadn’t finished, and didn’t feel like I needed to finish. Those members of Book Club Sunday who had read the whole book were happy to fill me in and that was good enough for me.

~Emily, read ½ (?) the book

 

Look out for an upcoming post on Book Club Sunday’s May read, The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time by Mark Haddon.

Wishing every day were Book Club Sunday!

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