Thursday, January 13, 2011

A Stained White Radiance by James Lee Burke

A Stained White RadianceA Stained White Radiance by James Lee Burke

My rating: 1 of 5 stars

Elmore Leonard famously quotes Steinbeck saying, "Sometimes I want a book to break loose with a bunch of hooptedoodle. . . . Spin up some pretty words maybe or sing a little song with language. That’s nice. But I wish it was set aside so I don’t have to read it. I don’t want hooptedoodle to get mixed up with the story."

I sincerely wish Burke would follow Leonard's urging to get rid of the hooptedoodle, or as he puts it later, "If it sounds like writing, I rewrite it."

There's a whole lot in here (and most of this series) that sounds like writing. Once you take all that away, there's not a lot in this book. Horribly thin plot, from the get go everyone knows who did what and pretty much why, there's just a few hundred pages of wheel spinning, hooptedoodle, and moments intended to be tense that really aren't.

Not sure if I'll keep going with Burke

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