Sunday, 29 December 2013

Atonement of Blood by Peter Tremayne

Eadulf was staring moodily out of the window at the darkening sky above the fortress of Cashel, the stronghold of Colgu, King of Muman.

Th next sentence is some back story followed by another weather report much more detailed than the weather tease in the first line. Unless this whole book is about bad weather, I'm not hooked and not interested - yet.

A man staring moodily out of a window leaves me at a loss. What am I supposed to imagine? What exactly does it mean to be staring moodily - how does one do it? I get the internal action of being moody (given to unpredictable changes of mood), but staring moodily? I'm forced to picture a pouting teen, scowling, then grinning, then frowning, then weeping, then chuckling and so on at the weather and doing all this only with his eyes? Now, that's moody! So kids, let this be a lesson: Be wary of adverbs.

First thing said:

"It will snow before long."

Second thing said, in response to first thing said:

"Rain is more likely."

Is this novel filled with amateur meteorologists? The whole first page goes on with two characters discussing the weather as if they're at a loose end, waiting for the author to figure out how the hell to begin the story. For a minute I'm excited to have a weather story in my hands, until finally the writer bores of the weather and moves on to talking about food.

Verdict: Fail

Rudy Globird

No comments:

Post a Comment