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Saturday, May 06, 2006

Fictional failures


I am finished with the historical-suspense fiction genre of books.

I've been disappointed too many times. I read and loved Dan Brown's "Da Vinci Code". Since then I've attempted to read:
The Rule of Four by Caldwell & Thomason
The Eight by Neville
The Historian by Kostova
and recently, The Labyrinth by Mosse.

I've yet to finish any of them. Their back covers and blurbs entice me with interesting plots. But these books have bored me to tears. It’s so disappointing because I think the authors have great ideas. I have high hopes when I start reading their books. And I’ll give them around 100 pages. But if you don’t have me hooked by then, your book is destined to be taken to Goodwill in a disgusted fit of despair.

My favorite authors are Stephen King, Jodi Picoult, Robin Hobb, Diana Gabaladon and Ellis Peters. They can pull me into a story so well that hours will pass without notice. Many times I’ll dream that I’m in their stories. Many literary snobs might say that I lack the fortitude to read “higher” fiction but I don’t think this is the case. I think, particularly with the four books listed above, that these authors are poor story-tellers.

I think Dan Brown started a new genre of fiction. And there was a flood of manuscripts trying to ride his coat-tails. And many of them were published. But, honestly, they shouldn’t have been.

For now, I think I’ll re-read the “Da Vinci Code”. It’s been almost three years since I’ve read it. And I want to familiarize myself with the story before I see the movie.

(end rant)

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