A Reliable Wife. Anyone else hate it?

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writeitsideways
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A Reliable Wife. Anyone else hate it?

Post by writeitsideways » April 10th, 2010, 3:47 am

After seeing many great reviews for "A Reliable Wife," by Robert Goolrick, I finally read it.

As soon as I picked up this book, all I could think of was Nathan's recent post on repetition http://blog.nathanbransford.com/2010/03 ... -that.html. I'd be willing to bet every paragraph in this book features something along the lines of Nathan's examples, to the point of extreme irritation.

Just a few:
"He thought of a widow in a neighboring state, a state where he often did business..."
"If you had been there you would not have noticed. You would not have noticed your own stillness.."
"She told him she was making progress, but progress was slow."
"She felt as thought her life, her old life, were going up in flames..."
"She was all sensation, and hungry for more sensation."

In one scene, the word 'howled' was used three times to describe the sounds made by three different characters. Are there no other words or phrases to describe cries of pain?

Also, I found the story unbelievable and the characters stereotypical.

Still, there are so many people who seem to have loved this book, I keep wondering if I'm missing something. If you've read it and enjoyed it (especially if you liked the writing style), please share your thoughts. I'm open to other opinions.

One thing that I am thankful for is this: after reading Nathan's post and subsequently reading "A Reliable Wife," I can safely say I will be able to spot any such repetitive language in my own manuscript.

Thoughts?

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Bohemienne
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Re: A Reliable Wife. Anyone else hate it?

Post by Bohemienne » April 11th, 2010, 2:43 pm

I actually quite liked it, but you're right about the repetitive sentence constructions. The chapters that were nothing but narrative summaries/lists irked me too. Loved the characters and story though!

While we're on topic of bestsellers we hate, though, I got through the first 100 pages of "The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo" and promptly chucked it out the window. Slow and dry and unbearably dull and unemotional.

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writeitsideways
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Re: A Reliable Wife. Anyone else hate it?

Post by writeitsideways » April 11th, 2010, 3:14 pm

Bohemienne wrote:I actually quite liked it, but you're right about the repetitive sentence constructions. The chapters that were nothing but narrative summaries/lists irked me too. Loved the characters and story though!

While we're on topic of bestsellers we hate, though, I got through the first 100 pages of "The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo" and promptly chucked it out the window. Slow and dry and unbearably dull and unemotional.
You're right, there were a lot of lists: He did this, he did that. Then he went here and thought this. He wanted something, and he wanted something else... I found it irritating.

I haven't read "The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo," but I hear mixed things about it. Doesn't really seem like my kind of book, so I probably won't try it (unless I get really bored!)

Thanks for your perspective on this book!

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