Bernie pic

Bernie pic

Wednesday, 15 January 2014

Loss of dialogue and innocence

Book Review

I HAVE read three or four Patterson novels, all hand-me downs rather than bought. The latest is Loss of Innocence, a cliched title but we will let that pass.
He is definitely good at constructing a page turner but for me I am happy to turn and skim a few pages to find what lies ahead. 
His prose is fine. (He uses whom correctly in prose and who incorrectly on purpose in dialogue - I like that - and he does not mind reaching for an unusual word if it is appropriate).
Some of his characters can be cardboard but what makes me most uneasy is the dialogue which in the main just does not ring true to me. I don't believe people speak as if they are in philosophical and more often sociological debate.
This one is set in 1968 and the dialogue is almost hindsight discussion on things such the pill, the Russian invasion of Prague, police riots at the Chicago Democratic convention, the main-streaming of feminism and so on.
I can see why Patterson is a best-seller but I think his dialogue needs more subtlety and authenticity before he could be regarded as a very good writer.
Here is our song

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