Review of Peace Like A River
Honest to god, this is the WORST book I've ever read in my entire life, worse than Violin, worse than Belinda, WORSE than Perks of Being a Wallflower. I could not stand it. I could not even finish it. This is what I mean when some writers can't write fantasy fiction because it just turns out to be overly stupid and this is the worse case of it. A family tracking down a brother who is supposedly a murderer? A sister who has an IQ equivalent to Einstein as the writer makes it seem and who is only nine years old and has the vocabulary of a 40 year old writer and can also write western poetry, a father who has "magic powers" and can walk on air just like Jesus! and Ruben, the brother who is sickly but manages to write his memoirs like someone who wasn't listening in English class when the teacher told him about how writing flowery words along with the over use of the thesaurus isn't a very good idea. Ugh. How can anyone possibly read this book and not throw up? It's written so old school that I thought I was reading something that happened in the 1860's and not the 1960's. It's like what the fuck is this?
-Here is part of a review from Amazon: The reviewer took the words (and the examples) right out of my mouth.
Here's another example of what I mean. Teenage boy, on the run from law enforcement, decides to break into locked store. But first, he pauses in an alley to feed "fruitcake to a choleric hound." Now, I don't know what a dog with cholera looks like, but evidently Enger does. Probably, he just meant sick, or scrawny, or mangy, but these wouldn't have sounded literary enough. Likewise hound. No mere dog, this, nor yet a mutt. And I would be willing to bet Enger tried out "choleric cur" and "choleric canine" first, but decided they were a bit too rich, even given his penchant for overwriting.
No matter, the boy gets into the store but is detected by the owner, who is upstairs taking a bath. Owner comes down naked, with a bat, and goes for boy. You would think, wouldn't you, that even a seventh-grader could depict this scene in bold, stirring prose? Well, maybe a seventh-grader should have taken the contract; here's the Enger treatment. "Straight toward Davy he pranced, picking up speed, while Davy went leaping away toward the window. Had the man not opted for a late soak my brother's career might've ended on the spot, but wet feet and wood floors make jeopardous allies, and the storekeeper went down in a sensational and profane tangle as Davy's shoulders were clearing the sill."
Precious, isn't it? "Jeopardous" is especially good. Enger likes that one quite well, but not as well as his pet, "ropy." My personal favorite is "grue," as in "a tale of grue," which is supposed to mean a gruesome tale, I guess. But I'm feeling a bit ropy myself now, and so must quit. But do yourself a favor, and prance clear of this tale of irk.
And believe me... EVERY PAGE IS LIKE THE EXAMPLE GIVEN ABOVE. How can anyone read that much crap in so many pages all at once?