Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Warning: This Is A Rotten Review

I'm on the fence about whether to put the author's name and book title in this post. I don't want people to google the author and/or title and receive this rotten review before checking it out for themselves. That is bad book karma. Still, if you search San Francisco Mystery on Amazon this book comes up and I was so excited to read it. 

It's an e-book by an unknown, like me, who professes to write in the noir style, like me. His dark descriptions about the Tenderloin (where I've lived) makes Twist look like it takes place in Candyland. The author's gritty scenes are so visceral and gross reading this book could be used as a dieting technique. You will literally skip meals reading this book. But that's the good part, the only good part about this book.

This author was also a philosophy major, like me, and he lets you know! The story starts out with a philosophy professor searching for his daughter, a possible drug addled child prostitute in the Tenderloin. While sharing what is possibly the worst dialogue written in the genre with the private dick  the author manages to name drop Hume, Socrates and Plato. 

After the author beats you over the head with the fact that he's smart enough to grasp complex concepts you realize that it has nothing to do with the story. The authors pedantic rant (is it pedantic to use the word pedantic?) only stagnates the story. The mystery also has no clear beginning, middle and end. 

This book is so bad and it's gotten good reviews. Maybe I'll come back and post the title but right now I'm not up to it. Not because I can't take responsibility for my opinion but because as a writer I'd be pissed if some one posted under my book -Do Not Buy. Sucks!-


  1. You know, there was a big conversation about this last week on NA Alley: I hate to say it, but I think you're being smart and self-protective to not post the title and author name. I REALLY hate saying that. I think it's important to speak your mind and be honest, and I value these things highly. BUT, as that blog points out, there canbe really unprofessional repercussions.

    As for the book itself... YUCK! I hate it when writers go on rants that have nothing to do with the story. We can all fall into that trap, but most of us realize it later and cut it the heck out. Which is why we have editors, too :) And no, it's not pedantic to use the word pedantic! ;)

  2. Thanks for the link LIz! I totally relate. It's interesting that Amazon deletes bad reviews from authors, but I understand why. We are competitors in a way.

    As for holding the reader hostage: When I've gone on tangents my editor will write -Adrienne, really?- or -Dump this!- I think I've even gotten a -What? Who cares!- Ha ha!

  3. I agree that posting the url isn't a good idea. Certainly not charitable. Besides, we all need the gut-clenching experience of picking up a book and suddenly discovering, to our horror, that it is a real stinker. Authors or not, we all need that joy, right? (ah... don't answer that...)

    Anyhow, I have posted maybe three one-star reviews in my entire career. They were for best-selling books, one of them a classic (The Old Man and the Sea). The authors were big enough and successful enough to take a one star from me. Otherwise, if I hate a book enough to want to rip it to shreds, I simply walk away. Obviously it was not written for me. ...hmm... must look up San Francisco Mystery...
    Diana at About Myself By Myself

    1. I understand that what constitutes for good writing is very subjective and as a reader I would comment but I agree with both you and Liz. When you have an author page on Amazon, rating anyone else's work is just not a good idea. It feels wrong, cowardly of me even to vent here to my writing community and not post a rating. Still, sometimes it's better to back off.