Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Three Delays by Charlie Smith

Published May 18, 2010.

Author website.

Billy Brent and Alice Stephens are star-crossed like all great lovers. Their need for each other drives them from Istanbul to Miami, Venice to Mexico. After years of encounters and escapes, they lose themselves deep in a desert wilderness, searching for a way forward, only to learn that sometimes the trail simply forks.  (

I scratched this one very early on, like a couple dozen pages in early on.  Really, I'm okay with literary.  I can handle it.  But there comes a point in literary where it stops being good to read and starts being a showcase of the author's perceived awesomeness and that's where my eyelids start to sag.  If I wanted to gaze at a naval I'd pick at my own.  Thanks.

Perhaps it was the incessant use of 'waked up' that made me want to murder puppies.  Yes, technically it's correct.  And technically it makes my ears bleed.  I don't know if this was the author trying to be quirky and use a little-used form of 'to wake' to make his writing stand out as OMG EDGE AND AWESOME.  Or if this was a means to showcase the inherent quirkiness of the MC, except it made Billy sound like a pretentious douche.  Either way I just couldn't take it.  After about five instances of the MC being 'waked up' I stopped. I don't care how awesomely quirky it makes anyone look.  I don't care if it's technically right.  It either makes one sound completely uneducated (who actually uses waked up for past tense? personally I'm on board the woke up train) or like a self-aggrandizing dick.  The former would be okay if the MC were actually uneducated.  He's not.  He's traveling Europe, getting high, existentially pondering life and spending SOMEONE'S money doing it.  Which files him into the latter category.  Gross.

Or maybe it was the meandering drug-induced hazed of a "plot" I kept trying to get involved in but it just seemed far too all over the place for me to keep track of.  Billy's trying to get back together with Alice despite the fact that she's married (what a stand-up guy) and his buddy contracted malaria or something and was hospitalized so the poor guy (the MC, not the sick friend) had to hop himself up on his own and there was a lot of drugs and stuff.  I didn't really see much of a point to it all and I certainly wasn't seeing any "star-crossed lovers" going on here.  Just Billy trying to harass some chick into leaving her husband for him.  The relationship looked pretty one-sided where I stood.

Nope, just wasn't into it.  The instances of 'waked up' were enough for me to DNF it but if that weren't a problem the spirograph plot would have kicked me out eventually.  I just didn't give a rat's ass about Billy and Alice was just a voice on the phone at the time I stopped.  Plus whatever plot there was seemed more focused on drugs and Billy dissecting his own thoughts than anything else.  Blah.  Not for me.

Ban Factor: High - Just for the drugs alone.  There are a lot of drugs.
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