Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Empty Mansions Equals Empty Reading

I was intrigued by the premise of the book.  After all, I'm scraping together money to make it to payday and here was someone with several empty mansions around the country.  And palatial ones at that.   Empty Mansions is the story of Huguette Clark, who actually has connections with Montana.  So I was doubly inspired to read the book.  And a hefty one at that.  

The book starts out following the life of her father, W. A. Clark, who was old enough to be her grandfather when she was born in France.  It follows his colorful life from Pennsylvania to Montana, the amassing of his fortune (at one time he was one of the richest, if not the richest, men in the world) and his need to become a senator at all costs - literally.  And between all of that, building some of the most expensive houses and art collections around.  What was interesting about him was that in a time when the 'robber barons' could care less about his workers, W. A. was actually paying decent wages and had fairly good work rules in place, especially for the time.  With little Huguette quietly in the background with her sister and reclusive mother.

I plowed through pages on W. A. and was almost relieved when he finally passed away.  There are only so many scandals and payoffs that I can take in.  Then the book focuses on Huguette.  I made it through her failed marriage in her early 20's (one that was probably unconsummated) and as her life was slowly being revealed in all it's million of dollars glory - well, who cares.  I found it hard to be in the least bit sympathetic to her life in all it's crazy misery.  It's like being upset because Paris Hilton might have to spend a night in jail for drunk driving.  This was one girl who needed some serious counseling.

Maybe it was because I was getting upset with all the millions and millions of dollars which were being spent (and I'm trying not to spend anything except on groceries and bills this month).  Maybe it was because I didn't find her a very likable or interesting person.  Maybe it's a phase I am going through, because yet again I have closed a book halfway through out of boredom.  

I think I need 'trashy' reading for a bit to jar me out of my rut.

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