I have to admire Stephen L Carter: the man wrote not one but two massive tomes. To actually have a beginning a middle and an end impresses me. I can barely finish a blog entry and NaNoWriWhat?!
I read The Emperor of Ocean Park. I was mad at that book because I felt that the tragic mulatto had played itself out. With hesitancy I started New England White.
I should have had a V8 instead.
*Number 1: the book was too damn long. I read almost every word of Harry Potter when chick got diarrhea of the pen so I wasn’t intimidated by the size. I actually looked forward to curling up with the book FOR its size. When Queenie needed an aide in the hospital, I planned to finish it while I pulled an all nighter to keep her calm. Let’s say I was happy I brought my iPod.
There were parts that seemed repetitive and just fluff. I glanced over the last 30 pages and decided that I didn’t need to read this book to know the story.
*Number 2: Each section and chapter ended like it was all SO important. It wasn’t that deep. The sections reminded me of those drawn out reality shows (Dancing With the Stars comes to mind. An aside. Thank God for DVR. I can fast forward the crap and get to the stuff I tuned in for). All hype for a zillion commercials and about 17 minutes of actual show. That’s what these breaks tried to create. Not.
*Number 3: None of the characters made me root for them. Julia Carlyle’s friend/ ex lover Kellen Zant is found dead and then she gets all Nancy Drew and wants to find out the who what when where and why. The Mister says he hates when (during movies) “M*th*rf*ck*s become green berets when they were just an average Joe”. Me too. All of a sudden, prim, proper, well educated, elite background (she was as Carter called it of the old moneyed dark nation) Julia is a sleuth. Get outta here! I’m nosy but this introverted private woman was defying all kinds of obstacles. Yeah, okay.
*Number 4: the writing alternated between Carter’s open thesaurus and his last John Grisham novel (again, no hate but after his fourth novel his stuff is all the same). In the beginning, the words are pompous for what is supposed to be a can’t put down page turner. I had to get the dictionary to know what the bloop bloop he was trying to say. Towards the end the dialogue was still not conversational and the writing was just lazy.
So much promise from the opening pages. Then…he didn’t hit delete on this draft.