Sunday, January 5, 2014

Review: The Book - M. Clifford

The BookThe Book by M. Clifford
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

Don't Read the Book

You know. I really shouldn't complain. It warned me - told me flat out not to read it. But I did it anyway. So it's my fault.

So this looked like a cross between Fahrenheit 451, The Matrix, and Fight Club. Except, that didn't turn out to be the case.

There was a good story here. It was implausible at times, but I can suspend belief and go with it. Except when I have to read it twice.

Yes, read it twice. On the average, I probably read every sentence twice. Often, they made no sense, so I had to go over them again. Even when they did make sense, I couldn't trust them and read them again to make sure that what I'd read was, in fact, what was there. And that it made sense.

Crap, my own sentences are starting to look like the ones in this book...

Early on, I stated in a status update that an editor was needed. But now I can see why that didn't happen.

The editor quit. Had to. There's no way anyone took that job and kept it. Who would? You'd have to edit everything, basically rewrite the book.

Now, with the story being what it is, that's surely ironic. Maybe it was intentional. Who knows?

Well, there were too many adverbs and adjectives. Too much describing. I mean, all descriptions were describably described by a describing describler.


"There was a scratching. A shuffling. Then footsteps followed by the cracking sound of a plastic bag being whipped open in hollow, suspicious air."

Ummm...too much. Cracking and whipping of the bag, I can envision. But the hollow and suspicious air? Come on. What is that supposed to even be?
Also, this thing where he throws several sentences fragments. Together. With periods between. Ummm, commas are your friend.

"Holden struggled against their grip like an untamed tiger." As opposed to a tamed tiger.
"Under their sudden weight, while they grappled for a piece of Holden they could restrain, he turned to see..." Umm. He's standing. Are they on his shoulders? And if so, how could he turn?

See, often these sentences don't make sense. At the very least, they're so packed full of description, they're distracting. The writer is more visible than his story, and that makes suspension of belief impossible.

"'That man there, and the older couple sitting on the couch, those are two of Winston's neighbors,'" Hmmmm. One, two...three.

"Holden awoke at four o'clock in the morning. Exactly. He had left the fan on in the shower and when the curfew ended, it burst forth from its slumber to wake him from his. He sat in bed, staring at the white numbers on the face of his alarm clock."

Ok, see. This is typical. If you read it four or five times, you might get the visual that Clifford is trying to convey. But it takes you four or five times. If it takes more than once, it's a fail.
Fans don't burst, they spin. When I saw that, I thought water was bursting forth to wake him up from the shower head. That makes sense, at four a.m. But then he's in bed. Looking at the face of the clock, rather than behind it, for the time.

So how much time does this take up, when it should have been read in about two seconds?

The story was decent. The work required to get the story was painful. The feeling I walk away with after reading this isn't a good one.

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