« The World of Bill: O'Reilly's alternate reality | Main | dante would be proud »

in which i review a book that i've only read 40 pages of

Have you ever read a novel that is written so poorly, you cringe when you read it?

I'm reading Jeffrey Deaver's The Blue Nowhere. The paragraphs are filled with cliches, the descriptive narrative is in the style of third-grade essays and the action is tedious. Even the lingo of the hacking community inspired plot feels forced and almost like name-dropping (lingo dropping?).

I keep reading because it's the only book in the house I haven't read yet and because the author has written at least a dozen other books, including one made into a major motion picture that wasn't half bad, so I feel like I must be missing something by not enjoying this one.

I have this habit of completing books even though it's a chore to get through them. Maybe I'll find something redeeming as I go on. I hate to think that someday I'll finally publish a book and some hack with a weblog will be unapologetically tearing it apart.

Which is why I'm being apologetic about it. Karma is a bitch.


I'm the same way - I can't not finish a book.

I loved The Blue Nowhere. That was the first Deaver book I ever read. I have read many more since. I loved the whole Lincolin Rhyme series. The first book of the series is The Bone Collector. I think the book is way better than the movie.

I have the same problem with this month's ANALOG.

I'm with you, michele....first of all, I HAVE to have something to read. Usually I have two books going at once. So if I am down to just one book to read, and it's a clanger, I will keep plowing on through even if I'm thinking how much of a waste of time it is.

It's almost like a car wreck; I can't believe what I'm seeing and I can't tear my eyes away. Maybe there's a tiny bit of faith that it can't possibly get any worse. I know it's not getting any better.

I feel your conflict. As an aspiring writer myself, I feel bad badmouthing any book on my blog, yet some books are so awful I just can't read them. And yes, I actually do put them down and never pick them up again.

I'm a huge Deaver fan, and am reading one of his books (Praying for Sleep) now, myself. I've read, and reviewed The Blue Nowhere. You're right; it isn't his best. In fact, even I found myself cringing at parts of it. I say keep going - the ending is totally unexpected, or was for me. I'd also like to see what you think once all is said and... well, read.

I've read the blue nowhere as well. I got through it, but I think I spent most off the time thinking "is there a point to this jargon?". True he probably felt that many readers wouldn't know that stuff, but my thought were you either knew it (which I do more or less) or you don't and most likely have no interest in learning it. For the most part I felt it would have been quite decent if he had only tried dropping the jargon when there was a point to do so.

I try to give a book 100 - 150 pages to suck me in. If it hasn't done it by then, I quit reading it. One book I read (don't remember what it was) was so tedious, that by page 50 I decided I didn't really want to give it a chance.

I will re-read books before I will suffer through (to me) horrible writing.


Purchasing books to take on holiday and I thought "Deaver, he's reliable".... guess which book I bought.


Started reading "The Blu Nowhere" and just gave up about halfway through it...boring, lifeless, cliched, etc...

I once read somewhere that you should give a book 28 pages. If you're not into it by then, forget it. I find that most times, I will discover that I have passed the 28 page mark, before I even think about it. If I find myself thinking, "What page am I on?", and it's not page 28 yet, then that book is headed for the library's used book bin.

"The Blue Nowhere" was the only Deaver book I've read. Nothing like slogging through the genesis of a bad tv movie.

AUGH! I read The Blue Nowhere all the way through, but was annoyed most of the way - the jargon, the cliches, the stupid plot twists... but Michele? It may feel like it at times as you read this book, but your eyes won't really be bleeding.

It was in a bag of books I borrowed from my father-in-law. Thank goodness I didn't actually pay for it...

"Have you ever read a novel that is written so poorly, you cringe when you read it?"

Anything by Robin Cook. Who TALKS like that???

That one surprised me. I've really liked everything else of his. (Especially the Lincoln Rhyme series)

The Blue Nowhere has been sold to Warner Brothers. Joel Silver (The Matrix, Lethal Weapon, Die Hard) will produce. Sorry to disappoint you, but it's going to be a movie soon.

Michele, my dear, the eternal curse of the aspiring fiction writer is the mountain of evidence that quality of output is not necessary to succeed in the fiction world.

There are innumerable examples of writers who can no longer cut it -- all right, some never could -- but who command huge advances and huge audiences. Pub World publishes them because it knows, with a certainty reserved for death and taxes, that their books, however awful, will nevertheless sell.

Best regards, as always, from a fellow writer.

I read that book, or rather I tried to read it. What a slagheap of cliche-ridden dreck.
Plus Deaver can't get his guns right. Sheesh... Doesn't this guy have a copy editor and/or fact-checker? Lord knows he makes enough money to afford one.

Try reading some of Stephen Hunter's novels. Dirty White Boys, Point of Impact, and Blacklight are all pretty damned good.

Carsten Stroud is also excellent, especially his non-fiction stuff--Deadly Force, Close Pursuit, Iron Bravo.

I loved the Blue Nowhere! I did a degree in computers so the jargon was easy for me to pick up. Fantastic book, one of the best I'v ever read! Couldn't put It down.