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4 November 2009

BLOGGING AND BOOK REVIEWS



Declaration of Interests
I've just read somewhere that bloggers who include book reviews on their blog have to declare if they are being compensated for the review. If they don't and they are (are you still following?) then they could be fined up to £11k. Why do things always become so complicated. I perform book reviews on books I've bought or been given and I have read from cover to cover. I don't get any pay, I do it because I want to develop my craft and share my humble opinion about another writers writing. Do I have to do this every time or is once enough? Hmm....

Book Review

Drop Shot By Harlan Coben
This is my first read of a Harlan Coben. My Man Friday has read quite a few and likes them. This one is from the 'Myron Bolitar' series. Myron is the main protaganist and investigator. I must say at the start that I did not particularly enjoy the read for several reasons.


First the use of trademark names. In the first few pages, the number of references to named products was phenomenal. Maybe there had been an agreement about product placement and I suppose the story is about the tennis world but... there is a limit. I just felt like I was reading some marketing material.


Second the language used. In addition to trademark names, there were a few 'americanisms'. The one I detested most was 'yowzer'. Who on earth uses that word? Myron Bolitar does.


Thirdly and possible most importantly, I didn't particularly get on with Myron. Now a reader needs to connect with the characters, particularly the main character and I didn't like him. He annoyed me. He continually made silent assessments of himself using inner monologue and I found that quite arrogant. Myron is apparently in his mid thirties but he came across to me like some old leery has-been always eyeing up women who are not the slightest interested in him. And I was amazed to discover that he actually did have a love interest in the beautiful and talented writer, Jessica.




Now I've got that out of the way, what else can I say. The story is set in the competitive world of tennis and Myron is an agent. Myron is an ex-footballer or baseball player, some kind of athlete anyhow, who had his career cut short through injury. Now he represents other talented sportsmen and women. Anyway, his current client is proving to be a bit of champion but as always there are a few skeletons in his cupboard. Then a young female tennis player who has been trying to contact Myron is suddenly shot dead during a match and the story unfolds around this and Myron trying to find out why. The tennis world, it seems, is full of bad guys who do nothing short of murder to get what they want. This was another grumble of mine, it seemed a little far fetched but hey what do I know? Maybe Wimbledon has its fair shair of hoodlums and thugs? So the story slowly unfolds and Myron is constantly saved from trouble and harm by his ghostlike friend Win. Win only appears if a bit of muscle is needed and by all accounts will also stop at nothing. He's a bit etheral Win, he has plenty of money and a posh nomenclature but I remember little else. To cut a long whinge short, it ends up with Myrons' tennis protege and his loose connection with another murder commited some years ago. It's about abuse of young sportsmen and women it a tough and competitive world but mainly it was about the guy from the poor background making good. So the plot line was a good one, for me it was everthing else that didn't fit. But I'm going to have a go at reading another, because I know Coben is a successful writer and what the heck do I know?

1 comment:

Rob Innis said...

Hola Giovanna, Concerned about the news regarding book reviews. I frequently post (unpaid) book reviews on bookarmy.com and my own blog. Was this a UK proposal or EU? Saw your blog in Writers News. Rob (Expat Living in Spain)