Arrogant Authors

I finished reading a cold war era spy novel, and weirdly, the very next book I grabbed was a futuristic spy novel. I say weirdly because I don’t particularly like spy novels and seldom read them.

The first book was readable and had a recognizable story, but the second one started in the middle of the story, recounted events minute by minute, and never actually went anywhere. Apparently, this was the second book in a series; the story was set up in the first book, continued in this one, and might be finished in a third book or even a later one, but it won’t matter because I won’t be reading anything else by this author. Ever.

Besides the lack of story, there was no characterization whatsoever. The story people could have been crash test dummies for all the personality they showed, and what was shown was truly bizarre. The female narrator of the story had an identical twin, and she kept saying that no one could tell them apart. In fact, the sister kept impersonating her, even though the sister was more flirtatious, wilder, immodest. Oh, and taller and prettier and thinner. All through the book, the narrator kept saying things like, “She thinks nothing of walking around with nothing on and maybe I would too if I had her body.” Huh? Identical but not? I suppose it’s possible the two really are identical but the narrator has body image problem. Or else it was simply poor writing in a book that has way too much poor writing.

The author supposedly researched the book for two years, and she managed to insert all two years of research into the book, leaving no room for a story. The book is replete with sentences such as: “The vehicle included a HEL that fires from a RAT. Both work hand-in-hand with the TATL to warn and defend again SLAMs and other AGs.”

And, even though this is a world-renowned millionaire author, her writing style has become execrable. Way too many non sequiturs, often as many as four or five to a page. I suppose some readers can pass them by without paying attention, but they sure called out for my attention. For example: “I recognize the man from the motel, and the woman has short black hair.” “Opening the door and she hugged me.” “Mom made chili, cornbread, and I was hungry.”

Yikes. The only good thing about this abomination is that I picked it up at the library and didn’t have to waste a cent on the book, though I sure wasted my time. I should have stopped reading early on, but I have a hard time returning a book unread. Besides I wanted to know why she and her sister had been implanted with all sorts of electronic gadgets, turning them into living computers, and I wanted to know when it started. There were hints that the twins were conceived for this purpose, but it was never explained.

What it does show is that once authors start making a fortune for their publishers, they never have to deal with . . . oh, I don’t know . . . writing, perhaps? It’s possible they were always atrocious writers but had good editors, and now they have no editors. Or if they do, the editors are probably kids just out of college and too intimidated by the stature of the author to make any corrections.

Either way, there is a huge amount of arrogance that goes into writing and publishing a book that does nothing but insult the reader.

Still, if I sold as many books as this author does, I might be just as arrogant.

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What if God decided S/He didn’t like how the world turned out, and turned it over to a development company from the planet Xerxes for re-creation? Would you survive? Could you survive?

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