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Book reviews and discussions may contain spoilers. Read at your own risk!

Monday, November 8, 2010

Who shuckin' farted? Was that you Minho?

So how does an self-respecting, Christian author get around foul, inappropriate language?  Create new, different foul language of course.  Oh shuck it folks, I didn't really mind that much.  Especially since it was the entertainment factor for me.  I think I "lol"ed  at every clunk and shuck in the book.  The insulting part was the fact that the author expected me to believe that in this new world they're in where the kitchen is still the kitchen and a rock is still a rock and a guy is still a guy, crap/poop/shit, or whatever you want to call it, is clunk.  Clunk?  What the shuck? 

Word replacements are fun and I've used many of them in my lifetime since I don't typically curse.  But gosh dang, I may drop an s-bomb if the situation calls for it.  Why an author would make up their own words for curse words, I don't know.  Could be trying to pull a JK Rowling, that genius of writer, (who actually pulled it off), I don't know.  But like I said, I did find it entertaining.  Almost as entertaining as the laugh I got at the last chapter when "Minho farted three times in the last minute."  I think this was a first for me.  I've never read about a character farting before.   I understand Dashner is writing about teenagers for teenagers, but I always believed that fictional characters, despite their age, are elevated people.   Consequently we don't want to read about their stinky farts.   

At the end of book James Dashner credits Krista Marino for "an editing job that defies description."  Ha!  If you ask me Krista Marino missed a thousand possible edits.  They were all over the place from pacing to description to language to plot development, etc, etc.   I couldn't really enjoy this book because of the terrible writing.  Creative Writing 101, show, don't tell.  It's quite possibly the most important thing about writing a good story.  Don't shuckin' tell me about your characters, Dashner, show me.  Suzanne Collins, another genius, has this down to a science.

Dashner could also take a lesson from Collins in pacing.  This was my second biggest complaint.  It seemed the story didn't even begin until the middle to end of the book.  And often information was repeated which slowed the pace.  Sometimes I wanted to pull my hair out and yell, "I know, Dashner, you've already explained that a million times, now get on with it." Since I listened to this book on audio CD the pacing and choppiness were even more distinct.  Not to mention wordiness.  Hello, you could have stated that long paragraph with one simple sentence (another wonderful Collins technique).  The story didn't flow and there were point of view changes that bothered me, especially in the beginning of the book.  It felt as if Dashner wrote the book over a long period of time picking up where he left off but having to familiarize himself with the story again.  Thus, the pacing was slowed and the characters and plot never went anywhere.

Don't get me wrong, I really enjoyed listening to the book.  I will most likely read the series.  I still have to figure out what scientist Teresa is named after.  That's been puzzling me.  Great pick Sam! It's time for the discussion so I better go.

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