My books can be purchased as e-books for only $1.99. If interested, just click here: Books.
Match Play is a golf/suspense novel. Dust of Autumn is a bloody one set in upstate New York. Prairie View is set in South Dakota, with a final scene atop Rattlesnake Butte. Life in the Arbor is a children's book about Rollie Rabbit and his friends (on about a fourth grade level). The Black Widow involves an elaborate extortion scheme. Doggy-Dog World is my memoir. And ES3 is a description of my method for examining English sentence structure.
In case anyone is interested in any of my past posts, an archive list can be found at the bottom of this page.
My newest novel, Happy Valley, can be found here.

Wednesday, June 10

The Girl on the Train, Part 2, & News Items

The last book that made me angry, David Wroblewski’s The Story of Edgar Sawtelle, angered me because of the unhappy (or do I mean unfortunate?) ending Wroblewski chose to give it, not because it was poorly written. Poor Edgar Sawtelle deserved a better fate. Or maybe the book deserved two endings from which the reader could choose. Edgar and his author led me to another book which didn’t so much anger me as it disgusted me. I’m talking about Paula Hawkins’ over-hyped best-seller The Girl on the Train. Yes, I said disgusted. When I got to the middle of the book, I couldn’t wait to finish it. Unlike Tess Gerritsen, who said in the jacket blurb she “simply could not put it down,” I found that I could put it down, right down the toilet. I can’t remember a novel that had more unsavory characters than this one. The three main females were all liars and adulterers, with one of them—the train girl Rachel—a drunk. Then there are the three men—Scott, Tom, and Kamal. Tom is king of the liars, Scott is an abusive whiner, and Kamal, the therapist, goes against his therapy principles by sleeping with two of his patients, Rachel and Anna. No one here to root for, no one wearing a white hat, no one I ever wanted to see again. The back and forth style, shifting the first-person narrative among the three women and the back and forth time sequence, was confusing and irritating. The three women were so much alike it was hard to keep them straight. Rachel’s drunken blackouts were just a sleight-of-hand device to keep from the reader what really happened. Gillian Flynn’s Gone Girl used a shifting time and point of view, but used it well to heighten the suspense. Paula Hawkins seemed to be trying to do the same thing but not doing it nearly as skillfully as Flynn. I’m quite sure a movie will be in the offing, but I won’t be there to see it. For me, the book was more than enough.

A few comments on a variety of news items.

How can tv reporters keep saying that authorities think the two escapees from Dannemora may have had help from within the prison? Well, certainly they had help. And the tv shots of the prison showed the viewers just how decrepit and old Dannemora is. It was built in 1844 and looked every bit of its one hundred and seventy-one years. You'd think that a maximum security prison would be more secure.

There's a new cholesterol medicine being touted, a shot in the leg once or twice a month that's more effective than the statin pills most of us now take. And it will cost only about $10,000 a year. Whoa! I do the math and it comes out to between just over $800 to just over $400 per shot. How in the world can drug companies justify such exorbitant charges?

Clint Eastwood recently put his large foot in his mouth at Spike TV's Guys Awards when he jokingly referred to those athletes who'd made the transition to film, saying, "Jim Brown and Caitlyn Somebody." It ranks right up there with his 2012 Republican National Convention pretend conversation with President Obama, in which he portrayed the president as having a foul mouth.

The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time was named best play on last week's Tony Awards. It was based on a wonderful novel by Mark Haddon that we read a few years ago, about an autistic fifteen-year-old savant who sets out to find the killer of a neighbor's dog. I was led to this book by another novel about autism, Belinda Baur's Rubbernecker. I highly recommend both books. I wish I were somewhere near enough to see this play that was based on Haddon's book.
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