Friday, November 30, 2012

The Good, The Bad, The Rejected

This is the stack of books by my bed that I've read this year.  

Well, those plus the 25 JD Robb books in my bookcase (see the third shelf).

I read a book a week.  I have favorite authors like Harlan Coben, James Patterson, JD Robb, Lee Child, etc. Then there are authors I'm less familiar with but start out hopeful.  I've learned if by the second chapter I'm not hooked, I don't bother reading it.  

Today I picked up a book and seven paragraphs in I encounter this:

Possibly the worst paragraph I've ever read.  Fragmented sentences, no creating imagery with the written word, no details, just bang, bang, well, bang.  Really?  "She lowered a breast to my mouth."  Does he participate in foreplay?  Is the recipient happy, enthralled, apprehensive?  Where did she touch him?  His face?  Did she feel the stubble from his beard?  Or did she touch his penis because apparently in this book it's touch, drop the robe, straddle, breast, orgasm.  Was there penetration or are her boobs just that sensitive?

I find I'm at the crossroads earlier than usual.  It's usually chapters two, three or four when I decide to throw in the towel if it's unworthy.  To date, there have only been three books I've bailed on.  One was so bleeding boring I just couldn't do it.  I got half way and it was more than it deserved (no more Faye Kellerman for me).  The other was a John Sanford book where he introduced too many characters in the first two chapters and by chapters three and four I couldn't keep it straight.  Buh-bye.

But is this one paragraph above worthy of throwing in the towel?  Is it a glimpse of what I will encounter with this particular author?  Is he going to breeze over parts where the characters connect emotionally?  

I'll give it my usual two or three chapters and if he doesn't shape up them I'm going to have to throw him back in the box headed for donation.  Only the good ones make the stack.  The rest get the cold, harsh reality of the garage and the Goodwill.