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Waking Beauty (1997): The Fourth Book I Ever Defenestrated

Paul Witcover, Waking Beauty (Harper, 1997)

[originally posted 22Nov2000]

photo credit: Amazon

Ironically, it’s an excellent cure for insomnia.

After three long months of wrestling with this monstrosity, I finally gave up. “Ponderous” is the best word to describe Witcover’s style, which plods along with no consideration for the reader whatsoever, and little more for the characters therein. Things happen to the characters, all of which are described in lush detail, but somehow the detail never manages to convey any emotion whatsoever. If you’ve managed to learn to care about what happens to anyone in this book within the first fifty pages, you’re doing a whole lot better than I did. And it never gets better. (zero, of course)

[ed. note 2013: the three before that were Children of Dune in 1985, The Vampire Lestat in 1988, and Moby-Dick later that same year.]

About Robert "Goat" Beveridge

Media critic (amateur, semi-pro, and for one brief shining moment in 2000 pro) since 1986. Guy behind noise/powerelectronics band XTerminal (after many small stints in jazz, rock, and metal bands). Known for being tactless but honest.

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