Tag Archives: bad fiction

A Book to Make Me Wake Up Screaming

Those publicists just can’t stop barking up the wrong tree.

I have been invited to review a book “set against the mysterious and sexy backdrop of Southern Cuba”–actually, she lost me right there–that “follows the young Thalia Vandergruen as she searches for her true identity with the help of trusted clairvoyant Sofi…”

Stop already. Have you ever known anyone actually named “Thalia”? I haven’t. And what’s with “Sofi”? That’s not how you spell Sophia, or Sophie. And she’s a clairvoyant. Uncle! Uncle!

But wait, there’s more. If you think those are silly names, Thalia meets this guy named “Yahriel–” (You should see how my spell check is reacting to these names. You’d think Joe Collidge wrote this.)

Stop, I can’t take any more. And this by a supposedly best-selling author. I checked: she’s a real person. I’m not giving her name because I prefer not to hurt her feelings. And anyhow the issue is not her, or her particular book, but the kind of drivel that keeps oozing out of our publishing industry. This example is pitched especially to women, in the category “women’s fiction.” But I will not have that said about women.

“What sets it apart,” concludes the publicist, “is the author’s signature smart bent and social conscience.” Great merciful heavens–does that mean what I think it means? The poor defenseless reader! I can’t think of anything good to say about “social conscience” in fiction.

I’m always looking for books to read and review, but this will not be one of them.


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