Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Ridley Pearson sucks!

(I had difficulty writing the last word on the title: "susck", "sucsk", "suksc", "sukcs". It sets the tone for this diatribe.)

I finished my first Ridley Pearson last night. It was The Angel Maker from 1993, second offering in the series recounting the adventures of Boldt and Matthews, the cop couple almost in love with each other. It was such a boring book that I had difficulties to get through with it. I almost fell asleep reading it... And this is a friggin' bestselling crime thriller! C'mon! What's with you people, getting this kind of bull to the bestselling level?! Read something good for a change!

Okay, let's calm down. I'll give you that there was some inventiveness in the ways the serial killer did his stuff, but beyond that there were no redeeming elements. The characters are clearly meant to be paradoxical and deep human beings, with inner contradictions and ever-going self-doubt, but Pearson cannot give them but some extra points - i.e., Boldt takes his little baby with him to interview possible leads (but the baby really doesn't act like a baby; if I were to take my little boy (0kay, he's two) to my job gigs, it would only break all hell loose) - that really don't add much to anything. The same with the baddie, a heart surgeon/vet who's supposed to be this monumental genius seeing himself above all the others - I didn't believe in him for a minute.

Pearson says this at his website: "Being a fiction writer is really like being an actor, because if you're going to write convincingly it has to sound right and play right." Okay, the guy's right. But why then does he write books that don't sound and play right? It was like watching some puppets do overlong scenes. (Or then too short. This guy switches the point of view every two pages, when he's not doing scenes that take 300 pages. Especially the scene at the pawn shop had me bite my nails - but not with excitement. And don't ask me about the action scenes. My mother would write better action scenes.)

Someone might say that it was the Finnish translation. No way translators are not that bad in here. It might be the case, though, that Ilkka Rekiaro was so bored with the book that he did a purposefully bad job. But then he wouldn't be so prolific a translator as he is. He'd get canned.

I remember when my book on crime paperback fiction, Pulpografia, came out in 2001 and I was on television. The interviewer asked me if there were any well-written books in the selection. I was mildly put off by the question, but didn't let it show. I could say now that each and every one was written better than The Angel Maker. What's worrying is that this is what people buy and read and think it's the state of the art.

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