Thursday, 25 February 2010

Under the Radar…

… is one of the worst books I have ever had the misfortune Under the Radarto waste my time reading. I don’t know what Mary Ruth Kuczkir (pen name: Fern Michaels) could have possibly written in the other 98 ‘bestselling’ novels she has published so far, but if it weren’t for my unhealthy compulsion to actually finish every single book I start, no matter how hard I struggle not to throw it out a window or stab it repeatedly with the sharpest knife in my kitchen, I would have certainly spent my precious tube-riding-and-sitting-on-the-toilet reading time on a more worthwhile, even if equally brainless literary endeavor.

I have read a fair share of the written word, good and bad, but this is down there with the worst of them. I can’t even allow it the benefit of potential postmodern gibberish, like I did another of my least favourites (He Who Searches by Luisa Valenzuela – avoid this one too!). No, Under the Radar lacks style, skill, intelligence, spark, everything. It lacks the reason for having been written. The worst thing is Fern Michaels has published 18 novels in the ‘Sisterhood’ series alone!

However, if we look closely to her literary spree, we will probably find at least part of the reason why these novels are so incredibly lacking in everything writing should be about: Under the Radar was published in 2009, along with another 7 books, 3 of which aren’t even in the same series!!! Most (real) writers take years to document and write one book alone. So… what can I say of someone who calls themselves ‘a scribbler and story-teller’, but rolls out so-called novels faster than she finishes a roll of toilet paper?

What with her ‘#1 New York Times Bestselling Author’ title, you will ask!? Well… taking that for granted would be like assuming that all the people who buy books actually read them, or that The New York Times is published in the most culturally aware country on the planet, with the highest literacy rates and the highest percentage of people who can actually spell their own language.

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