Play Dead, a really late SBD

Harlen Coben should have gone through this book and dealt with the crapola cluttering the pages before selling it to us. He's a fine writer and must see how WTF it is. Cliches mixed with purple telling-not-showing, bizarro POV shifts, yada yada yada. Is he really that blind to his own prose? I hope I'm not that out of it when it come to my own books--I suspect I am but wowwee. We're not talking about me. We're talking about a guy who makes a gazillion bucks on some well-written prose. This does not fit that bill. Who convinced him this was a good idea? A money-hungry agent?

The over-the-top plot is kind of a hoot. Dumb, dumb, dumb. Motivation of the main character? Dumb. The constant mentions of (big bosomed) beauty o' the ladies annoyed the hell of me. But mostly what got to me was the language. Ugh. Dude.

If I'd gotten this as a self-published freebie I would be indignant.

On the other hand, it's fun to see how far Coben has come. I bet the now-competent Coben opened up the file containing this book, read a few pages went OMG  and closed it again, unable to face a full reread.

I do not get why people love the damn thing over at Amazon.


  1. Lately the ebooks I've been reading seem like they've been phoned in. Literally -- I mean it's evident someone used Dragon Naturally Speaking and didn't successfully edit out all the mistakes. Just finished a truly wonderful first novel called "Frank Sinatra in a Blender" (get it, Kate, read it, you'll love it if you have any fondness whatsoever for boozer detectives) where I caught "mall" when he meant "maul," and "uh" when he meant "a," and at least a half dozen other such errors that I can't remember at the moment.

    Of course, what you're describing here is much more offensive.

    Happy birthday again, babe.


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