Archive for December 8, 2010


Posted: December 8, 2010 in Uncategorized

Most of the books I read I get on recommendation from other bloggers, and these I almost always enjoy. The Friend Feed Crime and Mystery Forum know their onions.

But sometimes I ask for books from Karen at Euro Crime based not on her recommendation, but on my interpretation of the publishers blurb, and it is here that occasionally I run into trouble. So I was very interested to see on Monday Dorte at DJS Krimiblog posting about books she did not finish, and asking what made you give up on a book.

This subject was expanded on by Rob at The View from the Blue House yesterday with an excellent ten point list of failings that led to a DNF.

I am a bit stubborn in that if I have started a book I almost always finish it, especially if it is one of those received from Karen at Euro Crime. I have felt obligated to finish and review every book, although this has caused problems for poor Karen in the past. I have felt guilty about this as the problems have been entirely my fault.
She has wisely decided not to publish one negative review [book A]; and I decided not to review another book [book B] as in my opinion it qualified on at least four of Rob’s ten points for a DNF.
I had struggled through to the end of book B as I thought it had to improve at some point, but I was gravely disappointed.
Book B was a perfect example of two of Rob’s points:
‘A writing style that is all style and no substance-nice prose is good, great story is better’ and ‘Too much sermonising and/or pretentiousness’.

I shall be most interested in other reviews of Book A [the paperback is out shortly] because it was a case of an author, who I had previously read and enjoyed, really disappointing me with a story that totally lacked credibility.
I very nearly chucked book A in the bin when after two hundred pages the leading character decided to whiz down to his local Gestapo HQ to discuss his girl friend’s membership of an anti-Nazi resistance group; and then try to make a deal with those brutes. I would suggest that by 1942 most people in Nazi Germany had worked out that whoever you were you stayed as far away as possible from the Gestapo, and SS, based on events such as the Night of the Long Knives [June 1934] when the Nazis slaughtered large numbers of their ‘friends’, including Hitler’s predecessor as Chancellor General von Schleicher, his wife, and Gregor Strasser, father of Hitler’s godchildren.
There were other glaring examples of what Rob mentions as ‘Lack of credibility and realism in what purports to be realistic fiction.’ Perhaps more of those another time.

In future I won’t be wasting time with books that don’t grab me and are too much like hard work. There may be a few more DNFs or WNRs [will not reviews].