Every now and then I get offered the opportunity to read a new book and write a review. Usually, like many of you, I consider reading time also to be tea time. Sadly, there are times when the tea is the only good thing about the experience. Thus was the case with the latest book I reviewed recently.
There is a term in the world of the arts: derivative. To many writers, painters, and composers, it is an anathema. It implies that their work has no spark of originality, that they are just copying the work of those that preceded them. In reality, art builds on itself, one artist’s vision inspiring other artists, resulting in whole art “movements” such as Impressionism and Rococo/Baroque.
In the case of the book I read, it was inspired by a hit series on one of the cable TV channels. No problem with that, as far as I’m concerned. The real issue is that the writer didn’t have a good grasp of how to write, and my guess is that the publisher also went cheap and didn’t have the author working with a good editor. At least, that’s sure how it seemed to me. A well-written book grabs the reader at the start and doesn’t present a garbled mess that leaves the reader scratching her head in utter perplexity.
Sigh, this book was definitely going to need a strong potful of tea, maybe even two potfuls.
Time to set the kettle on and prep the teapot with some Golden Yunnan tea leaves. (Bet you thought I was going to say Assam, didn’t you!) The flavor tends to have a faint peppery quality, but the tea liquid is rich enough to stand up to some milk and sweetener. After reading the first short chapter of this book, I definitely needed a tea that would keep me awake and sane!
Sorry to say that even after two potfuls of that superb Golden Yunnan tea and some chocolate chip cookies baked up fresh (I needed extra fortifying to slog through the convoluted writing full of “space filler” details that seemed to have nothing to do with the story), the novel didn’t get any better. By the end, I would have gladly turned myself in at a sanatorium for a rest cure!
In case you’re wondering what the book is, I am choosing to withhold the title to spare you the horror. Here’s hoping that the next book you read is a good one!
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