Thursday, December 29, 2011

Miles to Go

     I picked up Miles to Go by Richard Paul Evans on purpose.  I'm not a fan of his writing, but I wanted an uplifting book for the holidays.  Reading it reminded me of why I'm not a fan of his writing.  It should have been an uplifting book.  It had all the parts of the formula: sad story, characters overcoming hard times, a happy ending.  The problem was it had all the parts of the formula.  All of his books follow the same formula and when I read them, I get bored.  There are no surprises, no suspense, no mysteries.  I can't even cheer for the characters because they lack personalities.  They are cookie cutter gingerbread people without any unique decorations.
     His writing is also bland.  He likes to tell the story, rather than show us.  This subtle change makes a huge difference to the reader.  When I hear about the characters and what they feel, rather than experience it with them, they are removed from me.  I am just the reader, rather than a part of their world.  When I am part of their world, I care deeply about them and want to know what happens to them.  Writers do this by showing us what they are going through, rather than just saying things like, "She was depressed."
     There were great things about this book.  I loved some of the quotes the characters said.  They sounded like inspirational posters.  The trouble was without an interesting character to connect the quotes in my mind, the quotes were easily forgotten.  I also enjoyed the story on the Good Samaritan experiment.  I was so intrigued by this story, I Googled the experiment to find out more.
     Unfortunately, it wasn't enough to make me like the book.  I didn't even feel like talking about the book when I was done, and you know how much I love talking about books I am reading.
     It was an okay book, but like the characters, it will be easily forgotten.  If you are looking for an inspirational read for the holidays, pick up a Mitch Albom book.  His books will be ones you will not forget.  

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