279 pgs. (ARC, Prologue, Epilogue)
My ThoughtsLet me start by saying I couldn't finish Dead End Gene Pool. I felt disengaged from the first chapter and never found my entrance into the material.
Burden starts out with a prologue introducing us to Cornelius Vanderbilt and taking us through her family line on down to the birth of her father and eventually to her brother, Will, and finally herself. Once we get into the memoir itself, I start to lose interest. The Burden children are seven and eight and enroute to visit relatives when their plane meets some turbulence and we get our first glimpse of Wendy Burden's sense of her place in the family. "Being a girl meant squat in my father's family."
Using this plane ride as an introduction, we jump to the grandparents, or Gran, or Popsie with small bits of the children's mother as well as her uncles on her father's side. The major disconnect for me starts with the description of the grandparent's German chauffeur, George, who is suspected of being a Nazi. This fascination with George's heritage is fueled by Uncle Ham's deep interest in all things regarding the Third Reich as well as Wendy Burden's "humor." "German people liked to cover their lamps with...the skin of Jews gassed at Auschwitz." I didn't find it "wickedly funny", "intriguing", "quirky" or any of the other adjectival words on the back.
We move on to Christmas with Wendy Burden's paternal family. Uncle Ham is excited to receive a book on Hermann Goring while Wendy receives an Easy Bake oven which she calls a "crematorium." I'm sure, again, this is meant to be funny because she probably means putting dolls or other toys in the Easy Bake but, for me, here is where I give up.
If you want to read about the Vanderbilt's here's your chance. I'm giving away this
ARC of Dead End Gene Pool by Wendy Burdento one lucky, random commenter.
The giveaway is open to all. All you have to do is a
leave a comment stating why you want to read this one. Don't forget your email address.
Giveaway is open until Thursday, May 13, 2010 at 11:59pm.Only one comment/entry per person.
TLC Book Tours StopsMonday, May 10th: The Serpentine Library
Tuesday, May 11th: Books Are Like Candy Corn
Monday, May 17th: Sophisticated Dorkiness
Tuesday, May 18th: Starting Fresh
Tuesday, May 18th: Books on the Brain
ARC provided by TLC Book Tours and Penguin Books.