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I Couldn't Finish It
on January 16, 2008
Right off the bat the first chapter annoyed me. The main character has a conversation with one of his co-workers that, as described, should have taken a much shorter time than is reported. Such time differentials between what would take place in reality and what is described in the novel continued to happen, and remained just as annoying.
But I can deal with continuity issues if the characters are compelling and the plot is engaging. That was not the case with this novel. The two main characters begin as flawed, self-centered, and perception driven. The way that they need to change in order to have a dynamic resolution from the story is obvious and clichéd. They are unlikable and don't have witty dialogue to save them.
The plot begins with scenes that do not seem contrived and ridiculous. Yet when the action picks up after Kat gets Jim in trouble with an online offshore casino, it goes from one unlikely event to another.
And yes, I can deal with a ridiculous and contrived plot if it seems to poke fun at itself successfully. Also the novel must have other redeeming qualities.
The one quality I liked in this novel was the picture of the techno-savvy publishing culture that existed in the early to mid nineties. The descriptions of the workplace, the parties, the attitudes, and the clothes read as accurate to me.
But this redeeming feature wasn't enough for me to finish the book. I was loathe to give any book one star, but I justified to myself by realizing that a book I felt was very good in multiple ways would receive five stars from me.