Blogs Are Stupid

Doesn't anyone believe in Dear Diary anymore? What happened to the joy of putting actual pen to paper? And why does every ordinary Jane and John think they can write well enough to burden the world with their scribblings? It’s a mystery that badly needs solving. My first entry contains my thoughts about blogging and will set your expectations. The rest will probably be stream of consciousness garbage, much like you’ll find on any other blog. Perhaps we will both come away enlightened.

Sunday, January 22, 2006

And now for something completely different....

A Book Review.

I recently read Dance of Death by Preston and Child. P&C novels are not "great literature", but they are pretty well written brain candy. They are one of my guilty pleasures; what I reach for when my poor mind is whirling with the minutaie that governs my life and I can't cram another stream of coherent thought in there; can't process any heavy conceptual or idealogical discourse. In other words, its just fun to read.

When Koontz and King became staid and formulaic, I turned to Preston and Child. As a rule, I dislike any and all serial literature, but Preston and Child have the same gift for gruesome titillation, melodramatic storylines, and colorful characters. So I have made an exception, and I have not been disappointed, until now.

If Dance of Death is your first Preston and Child novel, then you will probably enjoy it, but it suffers by comparison to works such as Cabinet of Curiosities which was wonderfully macabre. The storyline, while it had a lot of potential, fell somewhat flat, and the characters, which could have been so vivid, didn't develop as I had hoped.

I really like the Aloyisius Pendergast character, despite his pretentious name and even more pretensious behavior, but in this story, we do not get to see as much of his uniquely quirky personality nor are we treated to as many deliciously gruesome details relating to an equally gruesome plot (I suppose reading previous works spoiled me in this regard. If you love that sort of thing, read Relic or Still Life with Crows).

The relationship with Diogenes, Aloysius's brother, the acrimony arising from their sibling rivalry, and Diogenes's sociopathy, which were all hinted at in previous works, and which, I expected to culminate in an epic of unparalelled Preston and Child style, (That is to say, gruesome, suspenseful, clever and gripping.)all fizzled out in weakly constructed and unfulfilling storylines with what seemed to be little more than a token nod to the really juicy promise they tantalize us with in the beginning of the book.

The big revelation regarding the root of the rift between Diogenes and Aloysius was a big disappointment, and the mystery of Constance is wearing thin. Just tell us already! Is she a succubus, a time traveler, a vampire...what?? Additionally, I am finding Smithback more and more cliche, and though I think P&C are trying very hard to make him the antithesis of your average tabloid reporter, its not working.

I have, on occasion, stayed up all night devouring a P&C novel...not so Dance of Death.

P& yer books, really. But you need to slow down, or risk going the way of Kellerman, Evanovich, and Deaver, who all started out so promising, but quickly became boring and predictable.

(Dedicated to P&C, cause I really do love their books. Don't repent yet...we'll revisit the issue when Book of the Dead comes out in June. )


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