And let's face it...he wasn't a great writer to begin with. And maybe it was the fault of the editor not doing their job properly. Who knows. All I DO know is that I started noticing mistakes, poor grammar and blatant plot screw-ups pretty soon after he began churning out all that work. So I stopped reading him. I figured if he (or his editor) couldn't spare the reader the time to spit out a well-written product, then I couldn't spare the time to support his work.
The same thing happened with Clive Cussler at some point as well. For me, at least. I mean, Cussler is formulatic to a fault. But it's that formula that makes his Dirk Pitt stuff so entertaining. On a beach. In the summertime. But it got to a point where I was finishing the book in my head after only reading a small fraction of it. Not a lot of surprises there.
Lately, I've been reading a bunch of Lee Child. His Jack Reacher novels. I'm currently up to "The Enemy", a prequel novel set in 1990 published in 2004.
And I'm just now starting to get sick of his formula. And some of Child's obvious weaknesses as a writer are starting to show. Making his characters seem oh-so-prescient by having them predict the future military struggles in the Balkans and Iraq. Yeah...Reacher is a God amongst men, but he really didn't need to make him any more omnipotent than he already was by using simple hindsight. C'mon...
And then there is this little passage about the M1A1 Abrams tank:
The M1A1 Abrams is like a shark, evolved to a point of absolute perfection. It is the undisputed king of the jungle.
Now, I don't even want to get started on giving the word "perfection" a qualifier like "absolute". Not sure the ideal of perfection can have degrees, but whatever. I'm sure I've done the same thing many times over.
No, it's the mixed metaphor of the tank being "like a shark" and "it is the undisputed king of the jungle". OK, the first one is a simile and the second one is a metaphor. Whatever. But my point is this. How does Dell (or Random House or whomever the publisher might be) let something like that get published in the first place? I mean, it's a simple matter of replacing "jungle" with "ocean" or "seas". Something!
Ugh...I put down the book as soon as I read those two sentences. I'll probably pick it up a bit later on tonight. Because I really want to see what happens.
But Lee Child? You're on notice, son. You had better get your shit together.