Book review – What it was by George Pelecanos -ebook

This novels 2 central characters – Vaughn and Strange are fairly well written but the characterisation of the minor characters could have been better.  The plot was difficult to follow because I was being distracted from it by all the long, rambling descriptions.

There were too many descriptions of cars and too much general description, it felt like it was there to fill out the book rather than to build the characters.  I prefer descriptions of characters to be a little more subtle than just reading large paragraphs of what they look like and what they are wearing.  There was also too much reference made to what the characters are listening to on car radios and jukeboxes which does nothing to advance the plot.

Generally it was very slow paced.

Dialogue was written almost in dialect, I found this to be too much as it makes the book hard going and put me off the characters.  I felt that Pelecanos could have stated the accent that his characters spoke and just dropped a few slang words into the dialogue to reinforce this rather than lacing all the dialogue with ‘gang speak’.

I found myself checking the percentage of the book I had left to read because I wanted to get it over with, do the review and move onto something better.

I will not be actively seeking out other books by this author.

2 Stars.

~ by adelesymonds on March 14, 2012.

6 Responses to “Book review – What it was by George Pelecanos -ebook”

  1. Interesting what you say about dialect. I have just finished A Clockwork Orange. Boy, that makes you work hard on the language to begin with, although many words were repeated – so by the time I’d finished I felt like I’d not only read a cracking story but also learnt a new language!

    • Sometimes I think dialect works, but not in this book. I am not an expert, I just comment on how I find it as a reader. A Clockwork Orange is on my, extremely long, to read list. Thanks for your comment. Ax

      • Yes – agreed. I only ended up reading it as the reading group I belong to chose it. Glad they did or I would never have got to it. It seems it is in a class all of its own. And it sounds like you are an expert…congrats on the work you’ve been asked to do…

  2. Thanks again J, your comments are kind, if I was an expert on writing books I would have some bestsellers of my own lol. I am reviewing books for a couple of on-line publications but this is unpaid work to give me some published material to add to my cv. Early days yet. A

  3. Hi there.I enjoy your blog. It’s got plenty of unique conent which can be very good. I have to admint, reading through your website is a real delight. All this is practical what you will be saying. We’ve many userful stuff here associated with helpful data from a web site. Many thanks for these kinds of fantastic blogposts. Carry on great work! Best of luck

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