out of the ashes

Friday, June 29, 2012

David Baldacci-The Innocent



          Marvin’s eyes were closed.  His face was expressionless.  Two I V-s snaked down to his arms laying atop the sheet covering him, one in either.  Above him the digital monitoring equipment showed heart rate, pulse, and breathing.  Steady, weak.  To Maribeth and Amy he seemed almost to be resting, happy, consumed in a deep and peace-filled sleep.  They walked to his side, Amy to his right, Maribeth at the left.
      Maribeth carefully placed her hands on his shoulder the moment she reached the bed, and leaned close to his face.  New tears formed and trickled down her cheek, dropping onto the bridge of his nose.  He started briefly, then returned to his calm state.  She bent closer and kissed his cheek softly.
                                                                            *
I was going to resume my blog entries by speaking a little about David Baldacci’s latest book, “The Innocent”. It’s very good points as well as the couple of things that turned me off. Which had to do with narrative. Much of it good. A lot not so good. 
In my opinion. 
He’s major, dummy.
I loved his plotting. Fast-paced with chapter endings that left me hanging (and reading). It reminded me of Dan Brown’s blockbuster, The DaVinci Code in the way the chapters were short, information packed…and left the reader hanging.
Okay, if you’re a serious reader you’re not supposed to love Brown’s work. I do. Baldacci’s? Well, I might, and yes, I liked The Innocent. I just grated (not gritted) my teeth as I read some of the structure techniques.
Back up topside.  “It’s very good points as well as the couple of things that turned me off. Which had to do with narrative. Much of it good. A lot not so good. 
In my opinion. 
He’s major, dummy.”
That kind of structure. Short, clipped sentences (even sentences set as their own paragraphs), and those cursed internals in italics!
Well, you employ that method of effectively getting into your protag’s head!
I certainly do.
Rarely.
I’ve noticed in my reading that when an author inserts them rather more than occasionally...or judiciously…the narrative sounds strained, forced, and juvenile. But, Mr. Baldacci is anything if not the consummate professional. He has a large team of readers and editors behind him, and my suspicion is that like all fans and friends and, well, editors, these people most likely would not say, “Nah, that doesn’t work, David.” After all, he’s proven himself. They’d better love it!
Farther back up to my opening. I couldn’t resist copying and pasting the opening to my last chapter from Marvin, lol. What did I do there? I simply dispensed with internals.
So yes, "The Innocent" was a good book (I hate the word “read”). I enjoyed it very much.
Still.
Why did he use so damned many clipped sentences and those bloody internals?

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