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I gotta get this off my chest

June 23, 2011

I think Mary Higgins Clark is way overrated.

I’m in a period of reading old paperback mysteries and suspense novels, since I picked up a bunch for free while I was in New York. I finished a MHC novel last week, and the utter ordinariness of it has stuck with me since then. I’ve never particularly liked her books, but I read this one because it was there, because it was free, and because I’ll read just about anything if it’s in front of me.

The plots themselves are okay, and at least you don’t know “whodunnit” until well towards the end. But there’s a lack of suspense about the whodunnit; I’m not chomping at the bit for the final chapters. Instead, it’s ho-hum: I don’t know yet, but oh well, I guess I will soon.

The dialogue also seems to serve to drive the story forward rather than being realistic. Characters tend to say things that are unnecessary just to explain something in the story. Additionally, the cadence of dialogue is often stilted, probably because it’s unnecessary. And a pet peeve of mine: there are lots of uncontracted contractions: it is hot, there is nothing here to see, I do not see why, etc. People don’t talk like that! (Yes, I realize I probably lost what modicum of credibility I had by making up a phrase like uncontracted contractions.)

I think I need to declare a moratorium on MHC books, even if they’re free and even if I’m desperate to read a few chapters of something before going to sleep.


From → Rambling stories

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