Monday, February 20, 2012

Abandoned: The Confession

I know how he feels...
I've been told that in parts of the Arab world a husband can legally divorce his wife by declaring to her three times in succession the words "I divorce thee."  Whether this old law is still actually practiced anywhere, I don't know.  What I do know is that I must say something very similar to John Grisham's The Confession: I abandon thee, I abandon thee, I abandon thee.

There, it's official.  No more will I have to suffer through the boredom of page after page of the recitation of facts about death row and the implementation of the death penalty in Texas.  Nor will I have to force myself through page after page of a recapitulation of the fictitious trial transcript of one of the book's main characters, a young black man on death row for something with which he had nothing to do.  Enough, already!  I can't believe I forced myself to endure this kind of thing for almost one-third of the book.

I refuse to go on...and I feel better already.  Damn it, guys, in a novel I want you to show me, not tell me.  When such a high percentage of a novel's pages (especially whole chapters) do this kind of thing, I may as well be reading nonfiction - and nonfiction on the same subject is almost always better written than this kind of rote regurgitation of fact after fact.

4 comments:

  1. This post made me laugh a little. There are lots of wonderful non-fiction books on this very theme, too.

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  2. And it's stuff that's all covered in other of his novels, unless you & I read the same one....nope, they had different titles, if not unique material. I made it through to the end of mine, but swore "no more Grisham for this reader".

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  3. Right you are, James. Plus, as Debbie points out in the comment below yours, Grisham has pretty much beaten this dead horse to death now.

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  4. Good point, Debbie. It's almost like this one was thrown together from research leftovers.

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