February 14, 2020
Happy Valentine's Day. Today I shall rant about books.
I gave "The Overton Window" a shot. I saw the author was Glenn Beck, the original political conspiracy theorist of my childhood. I saw the plot was a recycling of his usual ideas. I saw people giving me funny looks when I brought it home. I accepted all these things and tried to forget them as I read it like any other book.
I tried, I did. But I could not finish it. But I'm certain it wasn't from my biases against this man. Instead, it was not a good book. It wasn't good for many reasons, but I'll focus on two big ones.
- The dialogue is too preachy. The dialogue so often reads like a broadcaster going through a block of text. Instead of reading like real people talking, as dialogue should. It takes the reader out of the story since it's more like a sermon than a narrative. It makes the characters feel like idea outlets than actual people. The dialogue rarely drives change or development. It gives you a giant wall of ideas and expects you to accept it and keep going. That may work for a news broadcast, but not for fiction.
- It takes too long to get to the point. The book flap teases a massive, country-shattering event as the hook. The book then doesn't reveal it until at least 45% into it. It should have happened at the 30% mark at the absolute latest. When a reader is getting bored waiting for the major plot events to happen, you're doing fiction wrong. Bait and delays are never worth it.
I'm all for books having political views. I've read plenty along those lines along the spectrum. But I'm not for badly-written books.