Books I’ve Recently DNF’d: The Anomaly by Michael Rutger

the anomalyJune was going so well for me in terms of reading. While not every book had been a kick out of the park, I hadn’t DNF’d a single title, that is until now with The Anomaly by Michael Rutger.

I’m relatively surprised by my decision to put this one aside. It had been described as being a mixture of the X-Files, Indiana Jones, and The Descent. Yet, out of all of those things, it was neither, at least not for the first thirty-five percent (119 pages), which is what I read.

The main character is compared to Indiana Jones and coined as trying to solve the mystery of an explorer who had discovered a shady-arse cavern in the Grand Canyon in the early 1900s, sort of like an archaeologist. What the synopsis conveniently leaves out is that he’s a trashy YouTube type who steals facts and information from other people as the basis for these “adventurous” trips as way to exploit them in an attempt go garner fame. If this was mentioned anywhere in the fucking snippets that I came across—multiple ones from various places including the inside dust cover—I would never have picked this up (probably why it was carefully avoided).

Indiana Jones was a badarse archaeologist that had respect (for the most part) for whatever he was in pursuit of. He wasn’t a racist, entitled, douchebag with some inferiority complex. Nolan, who happens to be the main character whom we get to experience via a painful first-person perspective, is a complete arsehole. His entire fucking crew, actually, is extremely insufferable. The way they talk about people of colour, such as Indigenous people (referring to them as “red skins,” for example), was infuriating. They’re all searching for shock value and something that will finally get them a bit of recognition as a saving grace for their other failed ventures. There is absolutely nothing about this book that said to me, “Yes, this is definitely comparable to Indiana Jones and X-Files.” Nothing.

I’m used to books having unlikable characters. Usually they have a reason for existing and tend to balance out with other cast members that are far more pleasant. Yet, The Anomaly didn’t have that benefit to it. There was maybe one character out of the plethora that I found to be a decent person. One. Everyone else was an encapsulation of the worse personalities out there and I couldn’t stand it any longer. Truthfully, the only reason I made it to nearly 120 pages was because I was waiting for these jerks to die in brutally glorious fashions. Even that satisfaction wasn’t enough to keep me going.

Considering that I have a readathon coming up in July, I didn’t want to subject myself to a book that I knew I wouldn’t enjoy for the vast majority of my reading experience and threaten my happy biblio vibes with potentially dangerous reading ruts; so I DNF’d it. It’s not fucking worth it. If this book hadn’t been advertised to be something that it clearly fucking was not, and if it were described as following a bunch of YouTube dude-bros trying to get their next big chance at going viral, I may have (at the very least) had more respect for it and not been as fantastically disappointed a I am right now. I also wouldn’t have wasted one of my Book of the Month renewals on it either.

As I mentioned above, I only read thirty-five percent of the book, and maybe things change and slowly begin to morph into its comparative titles, but that deception doesn’t lay out a good experience for the reader if it takes so damn long for it to get to that point. Most readers won’t stick around for as long as I did and if it hasn’t gotten to its supposed irresistible traits within the first thirty to forty percent, even a teeny tiny bit, the rest of it probably just isn’t worth the effort and investment.

Thank you so much for visiting me today. I appreciate the support! Until next time, keep reading and keep otakuing. 

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8 thoughts on “Books I’ve Recently DNF’d: The Anomaly by Michael Rutger

    • Indeed! I don’t mind if some books are slow or take a while to get to the point if there is a legitimate point after all of it. But if I’m not feeling it, then I don’t waste my time or effort further.

  1. Never a bad thing to set aside books that blatantly are misleading in description, and so harmful as well. Even if the author was trying to satire idiots like Logan Paul, if you can’t write it in a way that makes that clear from the start, you missed the mark.

  2. It’s that sense of betrayal that colors your feelings when you expect a book to be one thing, and discover it is something quite different. If, on top of that, it has such unlikable characters, well, I don’t blame you at all for putting it down. I used to force myself to finish every book I started on principle. Then one day I looked at my ever growing TBR pile and thought – so many books, so little time. I can’t waste it forcing myself to plug through something I hate. So I allow myself to set books aside now. No harm. No foul. I don’t like this book. Maybe someone else will. Having written novels myself I have a great respect for anyone who sets pen to page and then releases their beloved product of labor into the world. So I would hardly ever say “This book sucks” – but I am willing to say “This is not my cup of tea…and I have this big pile of fantasy I’m building for July…” 😀

    • I looked up some reviews for it, so regardless of how much I didn’t care for this book, it seems like lots of other people really loved it. As you’ve said, it simply wasn’t my cup of tea! I think I would have been far less bitter about it if the synopsis wasn’t SO misleading. That’s just one of things I hate. I’m wondering if it’s like a bookish pet peeve, now that I’m thinking about it??

      But yes!! I’ve tons of stuff to read as well. On to the next one. 🙂

      • Hmmm, a bookish pet peeve? I think it might be a more widely spread peeve than that. If I read a synopsis that said a movie was one thing, and then it was something different… or an anime or (here in Vegas) a show, I’d be pretty peeved! LOL.

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