Wednesday 10 March 2010

Review: THE WHOLE TRUTH by David Baldacci

This is another best seller that had me scratching my head in puzzlement. Why so popular? In fact, I considered ditching it before even reading a quarter of it but John's alternative 'The Budda of Suburbia' didn't appeal and so I stuck with it.

I'm glad I did, because it got better until near the end and then it was just ridiculous. The plot is based on the desire of an extremely rich arms manufacturer who wants to restore the old balance of power world-wide by creating a phony crisis.

Nothing wrong with the plot. It was exciting and fast moving and the chapters were short, which makes for a good 'no-brainer' read. Plus, the description of 'perception management' (companies who artificially create situations for wealthy clients) was fascinating.

What infuriated me was that there were a number of chapters 'telling not showing' to move the plot along and I found them tedious and lazy writing; the characters were one-dimensinal and I couldn't visualise them; and with each new setting came a description which appeared to come out of a travel guide.

For example, anyone who has been to Amsterdam several times will know that The Bulldog it is famous for its coffee shop, where cannabis is sold, and not as a hotel.

However, all that said, I would recommend it because it is generally a cracking good read and its flaws are bearable. How's that for a recommendation!

Very aware that my novel 'Cyprus Blues' (unpublished) has long chapters and I've tried everywhich way but can see no way of shortening them without an editor to guide me. However, 'Winchester Blues', which I've now started will certainly have shorter chapters. Or perhaps I just need a boob enlargement, a racy life style and a willingness to tell all to the media, like Jordan.

On the subject of Jordan, it's in the news that leading booksellers are considering boycotting her latest autobiography (4th in 5 years or 5th in 4 years) because they don't want to be seen to exploit her fans. Maybe so or maybe they just want a better deal with the publishers.

However, frustrating as it is to see Jordan in print so often when she doesn't even write the darn things, I think the booksellers should give their customers the choice.

And also, when I was part of the 'Sexy Shorts' forum, where the writers exchanged news, one of the writers, who worked in W.H.Smiths, praised Jordan for her willingness to do personal signings to promote 'her' books. She certainly has an astute business mind and you can't fault her for that.

Macmillan 2008
Read on holiday in September 2009

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