Monday, May 21, 2007

Earth Kids Are Easy

So they got John Cusack, that underdog heartthrob, to play the dad in the movie adaptation of The Martian Child, by David Gerrold. I'm currently listening to the audiobook, and I'm actively restraining myself from going into a rant about terrible audiobook readers and how they ruin what should be a good experience. Okay, I'll grant myself a tiny, short little rant: you don't need to pause for two seconds after every single sentence! And not every single word is so incredibly important that it needs to be carefully emphasized. Okay, seriously, rant over.

But only to make room for a new rant: a book about adopting a kid with severe behavior issues is a) very surprising and b) possibly kind of irresponsible if it implies, as this one seems to, that true and deep love is all it takes to reach the little tykes and turn their lives around. First, it's disrespectful to all the other people who spent hours of months of their lives with him before this guy came along.

Second, it's irresponsible to all the other potential adopters out there. Seriously, it's NOT easy to take care of these kids. The closest he comes to acknowledging that the kid has problems so far is one sentence saying, in effect, "Sure it wasn't all a bed of roses--he lied and stole money from me and kept a knife in his room and got in fights with other kids. Still, we were blissfully happy and it was an unadulterated dream." If you didn't know how disruptive a behavior disordered kid can be, you could easily believe, from this account, that the instant you bring him home and give him his own room, he's going to be just dandy and fun to hang with.

So yeah, I'm having trouble picking apart the things I don't like about the narrator and the things I don't like about the reader and the things I don't like about the author. Look at that sentence; it's hard to even describe who all these people conspiring to trouble me are. I guess it's not awful; I'll finish it. But I have to admit, I'm not getting much out of it. Luckily, I'm reading two other books. I'm still getting my fix.

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