For years now, librarians, bookstore clerks and random other supposed "readers" have been pointing me at James Patterson. Having finally picked up a copy of Along Came a Spider - from the library, or I'd be really pissed - I am now forced to wonder if, as part of the business model where he gets a bunch of other authors to write shit (really, just the purest, unadulterated excrement) for him and convinces them to not take credit for it, he also employs a cadre of seemingly normal citizens who claim to have read his books without having done so and who make five bucks everytime they recommend one of his piles of garbage in a cover to some unsuspecting sucker.
Be advised; if you were one of the people who recommended James Patterson to me, you're now on fucking notice. Your recommendations are from henceforth highly suspect, and it will take some time before I listen to you again without wincing.
Not even passable airplane or bathroom reading, this trope-filled, cliche-ridden (I keep expecting the main character, Alex Cross' s boss to yell "MCBAIN!?!") collection of strung together sentences masquerading as a story. I have read FAR better and more literate books this Summer alone, and many of those were YA. On what grade level does Patterson write? 3rd? Except for the brutal murders and a the sprinkling of the word "fuck" every ten pages or so, I'd think so. Sensationalism abounds - there are three savagely murdered and abused children in less than one hundred pages, and that's saying nothing about the mutilated and dead women and the numerous other allusions to death. There are three separate violent events, supposedly committed by two guys, but you know it's the same guy, and that this is one of the "twists" that's coming. This book stinks so bad I feel I have to open a window, turn on an exhaust fan and apologize for it. I plan on kicking James right in his left knee if I ever see him.
What's the last book you read where everyone but everyone's got a fucking nickname? Children's lit and true crime Mafia books, yeah, but otherwise, give me a break, Jimmy. Watching Patterson trying to be clever on the page is like watching my dog throw up. Just get it over with so I can clean up and move on. I'm not sure the man's ever had an actual conversation or listens when people speak - his dialogue seems like regurgitated movie lines from the 80s and 90s.
This is an actual sex scene from this book (which is for the most part, written in the first person): ""You look so beautiful." "I did it just for you." Jezzie smiled. "And I'd like you to do something else for you. I'd like you to do something for me, too." And so we did one another." I'd like to stress that this is not parody, or a joke, or anything but a straight transcript of what's lodged in this terrible book. You may now turn to the side and vomit. I shall wait.
I'd like some feedback from black people about crusty old white James' interpretation of their race-based thoughts and problems, 'cause his "thoughts and feelings of black folk" seem pretty contrived and stereotypical to me. When he speaks for the character he calls Nana Mama, I feel embarrassed, like someone's performing in blackface. Oh, and the Irish should be pissed at James too, since he spends a whole paragraph perpetuating the "whole of Ireland is alcoholic" myth.
[WRITTEN AFTER I FINISHED THE BOOK]
Having wasted part of my Saturday on this crapheap now, I have to additionally point out that apparently, Patterson thinks Chaucer is responsible for Le Morte d'Arthur, and that his plot holes are so massive even light can't escape. I was 50 pages from the end before I realized that one whole murder - that the murderer guy admitted to by leaving a note on the body of a dead federal agent - was never brought up again, even during the sensational trial straight out of every Perry Mason episode, and that, despite the internal pining for the lack of justice for black victims of violent crime, no justice for the black victims of the violent crime was ever done. Nice loose ends, Jimmy-boy.
I am terrified by one thing in regards to this book: I was originally going to read a bunch of them. That's a scary thought.
Burning this book - while satisfying - would be a waste of fire. After all, fire is a useful bringer of light and heat energy, while this book is nothing more than a steaming pile of rancid bullshit writing so bad it'll put you off eating for awhile. (Diet aid - new marketing direction?) I've seen better prose scrawled on pub bathroom walls in Sharpie by people so drunk they couldn't resist adding a picture of a cock and balls. I picture a giant pile of James Patterson books being moved around by WALL-E after we're all off planet, having left James behind with the other cockroaches.
The most disturbing thing about this book is not that it sucks - it's that everyone liked it. It was a NYT #1 Bestseller for fuck's sake. People made a movie of it. Aargh. For the record: Anyone who tells you to read anything by James Patterson - unless it's a suicide note - is NOT your friend.