Saturday, May 7, 2011

My 75% through The Compound issue

I've been reading The Compound by S.A. Bodeen this week and I'm finding it difficult to get into.

gas face
Forget the bunker. I'll just get one of these.
The gist: the story opens with Eli escaping into an elaborate underground bunker his father built to protect his family from nuclear holocaust. His father says they will not be able to leave the compound for at least 15 years. Initially, Eli thought his father had all bases covered for them to survive in the compound for 15 years until things start going seriously wrong with the food supply.

After page 50, I thought I was okay, but the story has taken a turn from having a kind of drab narrator to chronically the daily lives of a family of crazy people---and not in the endearing crazy way. The narrator, Eli, spends a decent chunk of the book thinking about how a clown once referred to him as the "evil twin," and how little he trusts his father. We find out that his mother basically married his dad for his money, and that his adopted sister is seriously considering serving as an incubator for human clones. (They were going to breed their own cows for food, but the animals died from a mysterious disease, so now they're considering raising people for food. Donner Party, anyone?)

At this point, I've made it far enough that I might as well finish the book, but I'm not optimistic. I keep wanting to compare it to Paul Theroux's The Mosquito Coast, but that only makes it worse. I stop every few pages and think, I wish I was reading Paul Theroux right now. Oh well.