DNF Review: Eleanor Oliphant Is Completely Fine

I don’t know how often I will be doing this sort of post about books I haven’t finished, but I needed to honestly get my feelings out about Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine. I had seen this book around everywhere, and when I bought it, the cashier even comment about how popular it is. The premise seemed like this would be a cute, heartwarming book. To say my expectations were high is an understatement. I ended up stopping at page 124 (about a third into the book).

Then I felt bad. Even alcoholics deserve help, I suppose, although they should get drunk at home, like I do, so that they don’t cause anyone else any trouble. But then, not everyone is as sensible and considerate as me.

pg. 40

However, right from the beginning, I was kind of shocked. Eleanor talks, and thinks since this book is in first person, in such a formal and clinical way that makes it hard to relate to her. Very occasionally, she will have some moments that I liked what she had to say, but for the most part, hearing her thoughts on anything, from fast food to technology, was unbearable. She describes what feels like every second of her life, down to what she eats for each meal, what she’s reading in the newspaper, and her entire wardrobe. All of this combined equals paragraphs and paragraphs of uninteresting content.

“No thank you,” I said. “I shan’t be having a manicure again. I can do the same thing myself at home, better, for nothing.”

pg. 109

I also thought Eleanor was quite rude. A lot of things that she says are so condescending and judgmental. Whenever anyone reacts to what she says, she kind of mocks them for not having social skills, but it’s actually her who lacks social skills. Seeing her try to get access to a computer and cell phone was just bizarre. She was born in 1987, so this book is set in 2016, but it was like she’d never seen technology before. I don’t think there was a single thing about her character that I liked.

I wondered why humans would willingly queue at a counter to request processed food, then carry it to a table which was not even set, and then eat it from the paper? Afterward, despite having paid for it, the customers themselves are responsible for clearing away the detritus. Very strange.

[…]

I left the remains of my dinner where it was – what, after all, is the point of eating out if you have to clear it up yourself? You might as well have stayed at home.

pgs. 123-124

The quote above was what pushed me over the edge and made me drop the book. She is constantly looking down on people for how they act, whether its going to a fast food restaurant or caring about their appearance, but it is so hypocritical because she does those same things. She does all these things in order to meet the man who is going to be her soulmate, but in reality, she’s stalking him.

I did look up spoilers to see what happens and I do think this book could have been really interesting, but the execution of it was just not it for me. It was tedious and boring and did not hold my attention. Since it was set in Scotland, I was also pretty confused by the terms they use there. This book is just a hard pass for me and I don’t see myself enjoying it even if I did carry on with it.

2 thoughts on “DNF Review: Eleanor Oliphant Is Completely Fine

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