Saturday, 18 July 2020

A Beautifully Foolish Endeavor by Hank Green. (Mindscape Reviews!)


Hi Readers! After 10 difficult days, I have finally finished reading Hank Green’s ‘A Beautifully Foolish Endeavor’, which was a sequel to ‘An Absolutely Remarkable Thing’. First of all, I want you all to know that I love Hank Green. He is the kind of nerd-king I worship. I also immensely loved his first book ‘An Absolutely Remarkable Thing’. This is why I had HIGH HOPES from the second book. But, imagine my pain, when I didn’t like it AT ALL. I am really CONFLICTED about my disappointment in the book & with my love for the author. S0, Hank, if you find this post, please don’t read it. It won’t be good for either of us.

You can check out my book review for the first book here!


~~INTRODUCTION~~

A Beautifully Foolish Endeavor is a much-awaited sequel released 2 years after the first novel. The first book ends on a cliff hanger so interesting that you can’t not read what happens next! In this book, we see the aftermath when the Carls disappear. We see how every character in the book copes differently with it & how they move on in their own lives. This book is divided into chapters for all of April May’s friends, so we get to see their point of views & their current happenings.

~~CHARACTERS~~

We have Andy Skampt how is rich & has become somewhat of a philosopher preaching people to be kind. Then there is Maya who is still hopeful of April’s existence. Miranda is again immersed into her research. And soon, April comes into the picture being half-human & half-alien. We also have Carl who is like that old retired scientist who only like to talk about science with his grandchildren.

As the story progresses, each of the character sets on a journey that progresses toward the climax of the book. Andy becomes a billionaire so that he could spend it all on an important cause. Maya goes on a scientific adventure only to discover some unusual white stones. Miranda applies to work for a company started by April’s archenemy Peter Petrawicki. All of them are doing something, but none of it is remotely intriguing, but more like unbearably dull.

~~OVERALL THOUGHTS~~

Let’s start with how I found this 483-page novel. The first 30% of the book goes in setting up how all the characters felt post Carls’ disappearance. And, also, after that 30%, we get to see April May. I hated that I had to wait THAT LONG to know what happened to her. And the waiting was not at all interesting. It was incredulously boring. Now, for the next part. NOTHING HAPPENS in the book in the first 60% of it! Yes, there are minor things going on in their lives, but those things are not enough to hold the reader’s attention, rather on the contrary. Even after April & Carl enter the story, the chapters somehow become even MORE BORING. I was expecting some brilliant mind-blowing explanation of Carls, but instead it was so purely scientific that it just did not work for me. The thing is that the author was so overworked into setting the right theme for the novel, that he spent the better part of it in that instead of creating even an average story. And, as for the remaining 40%, it was much more JUVENILE than anything I have read. The whole rescuing Miranda by invading Altus plan was just that. I have read Adventure & Sci-Fi & Action, but this was neither of it.

Now, I am going to break down the parts which I found disappointing. When Carl & April came into the story, I was glad. I thought I will finally have some answers. But this only led to Carl explaining everything in such a manner that any average person would not understand. And, this wasn’t like a quick brief, it was LONG! A load of crap about pelagibacter & neuroscience & what not! This was a big BUMMER for me. I liked the vision of Altus Space & also liked how Hank has made its dual impacts clear. It makes you wonder about how it will change everything, but it also makes you wonder about the inequalities, mental health issues & other problems it creates. This book was basically 70% SCI & 30% FI.

Apart from the lengthy scientific explanations which helped me only in dozing off, there were also lengthy non-scientific explanations. These were more about humanity, but they were written as if they belonged in a non-fiction philosophy book. Yes, he has talked about possibly all the problems with humanity, such as climate change, pandemics, bigotry, inequality, wars, data privacy, concentration of power, gun control & so many other things. And, when he connected SOME of these issues with the story, it aligned really well & also the message was clear. But, when he just plainly rambled on about them, that was NOT FUN.

I also want to talk about the 5 Character-wise separated chapters throughout the novel. Maybe the point of doing that was to bring all of them together at the climax, but nothing great happened there either. That’s when I realized how that kind of writing SLOWED the story immensely. So many unnecessary details about all of them because they themselves are telling their own stories connecting those to the one big story. Usually when the chapters are separated with 2 characters, it is a good change, but to separate it in 5, was not really clever. I would have even allowed it if the end was something massive & if the end required that kind of writing, but NOPE.

The thing I LOVED about An Absolutely Remarkable Thing was CARL & everything that surrounded him like the Dream. In A Beautifully Foolish Endeavor, everything is again surrounded by Carl, such as The Book of Good Times, unreal white stones, Carl in monkey form, Carl’s sibling, April’s half-alien body and so on. There wasn’t one absolutely remarkable thing, but there were multiple absolutely unremarkable things. None of them made an impact significant enough as it did in the first book.

 

~~CONCLUSION~~

I rated Hank Green’s A Beautifully Foolish Endeavor at 1.5/5. I am done feeling guilty about it. This book was supposed to take me out of my reading slump, but instead it put me far down below & put rocks over me making it difficult to get up & go on! I’d now welcome any book recommendations that have helped you guys get out of the slump!



Until next time,

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