K.Z. Snow's Reviews > Where the Boys Are

Where the Boys Are by William J. Mann
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Jun 20, 11

Read from June 18 to 20, 2011



Nothing's any better, I'm afraid. The dialogue is more turgid than the characters' winkies ever get, and it's still loaded with mentions of the speakers' names. (Didn't this book have an editor?) On one page alone, where there was a conversation between two men, the speakers addressed each other by name 11 times. That's 11 times in 15 pieces of dialogue! I can't take much more.

In addition, and in spite of all the crying the guys do, this 400+-page tome has too little conflict to justify its length. I'm still having difficulty distinguishing between the POV characters. Another key player is like some gratingly overwrought female in a really bad old movie; every time she appears, I roll my eyes and skip to the next chapter.

Basically, I just don't care about these people. At all. I'm afraid this one will be a DNF.

* * *

I've just started this book, but some of the author's narrative choices are already getting in the way of the story.

1.) Three POV characters with (so far) virtually indistinguishable first-person voices. o_O

2.) Each character's habit of stepping out of voice and addressing the reader directly, which is not conducive to immersion.

3.) Each character's habit of repeatedly saying the name of whomever it is he's talking to. "Jeff, I have something to say. I know all about you, Jeff. Want me to tell you what I know, Jeff?" AAAACK! This particular dialogue quirk sets my teeth on edge!

I'm hoping I get used to this stuff, 'cause I really need an enjoyable read right now.
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Comments (showing 1-4 of 4) (4 new)

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message 1: by Chris (new)

Chris I think excessive name use in conversation is a red flag for lack of an experienced editor... and possibly lack of an experienced author. Drives me NUTS and once seen, cannot be unseen.

message 2: by K.Z. (last edited Jun 20, 2011 08:19PM) (new) - added it

K.Z. Snow So true, Chris ... and can't be "unseen" because every character does it!

This isn't an inexperienced author, and certainly not an unpopular one. Just take a gander at the GR comments and stars. The book is a professionally produced trade paperback published by Kensington, and it apparently has a successful prequel.

I'm utterly mystified.

The Cranberry Hush: A Novel, self-published, is vastly superior in every way, even in its evocation of Cape Cod (where this novel, in large part, also takes place). You really should read it!

message 3: by Chris (new)

Chris I have The Cranberry Hush - I just have to get around to it. :)

Kelly H. (Maybedog) The simplest rule for writing good dialog is one I've never even read in a how to write book: Read the lines out loud, preferably with a friend reading the other character(s), without the description in between so you're hearing the conversation only. If this author had just done that, he surely would have realized how ludicrous it sounds.

This book was written over a decade ago when any gay literature was in short supply and people were more forgiving because they were desperate for the content. Although I still see crap that's published by small presses, I think the mainstream presses are a little more discerning. Thank you for a very helpful review.

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