Tuesday, May 30, 2017

The book I’m not going to review

Looking for new writers invariably means kissing a lot of toads. Usually I just sigh and give up somewhere between 10 and 20 percent, saying, “It may be somebody else’s cup of tea, but not for me.” Occasionally, though, I come across a book that is so annoying that it really tests my vow not to throw my Kindle at the wall. The book I’m not going to review today was one of those.

I’m not going to review it because for all I know, the writer is a perfectly nice person who just didn’t have a beta reader to tell him, “Sorry, this is not ready for publication.” And I don’t like holding people up for public obloquy.

But the writing, dear God, I wanted brain bleach long before I’d passed my eyes over even 10 percent of the text. It is so full of things Nobody Should Ever Do to a Reader. It would take too long to describe all the offenses against the English language, so I’m just going to mention the most annoying one: Pushy adjectives.

That’s what I call adjectives that the writer throws in to tell you how to feel about something without going to the trouble of actually describing it. Within the first few pages our heroine had melted metal sheets with “incredible temperatures,” had taken an “incredible leap.” A little later something “had done some incredible work on her health.” Someone else’s trigger finger “released a volley of countless slugs.” And there was a “merciless army” at the door. Oh, and somebody was guilty of “hateful preaching.” The expectation of sudden death was “heartbreaking,” and so was somebody’s rage.

The relentless bombardment of push adjectives was even more annoying than somebody writing in ALL CAPS. I felt that the author was shouting at me, “This is amazing and you’d better believe it! These characters feel deeply and so should you!”

That is… a very poor substitute for actually amazing me.

1 comment:

  1. I'm never totally sure why some books I read or start to read have me lose interest...maybe I need to be aware of why I will only get to chapter 3 or 4 (if that far!) an put the book aside. HA


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