Steve's Reviews > Dissolution

Dissolution by C.J. Sansom
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's review
Jan 06, 12

I see the other reviews and the raves, and while I generally enjoyed all the Shardlake books, there is a minor but regular and insurmountable hiccup in Sansom's writing that jars me very time I come across it.

By Book 5, it was unavoidable, and I failed to finish the book as aresult (in fact I deliberately left it in the hotel room I was staying in at the time in Singapore).

He has a habit of insisting on adverbs where there doesn't need to be one, and he does it sentence after sentence in some cases, not always finding the appropriate adverb, looking through his theseaurus to come up with one that he hadn't used previously. Petty? Probably. Could I write better? Probably not. So where's the proof of this apparent crime against decent creative grammar?

Here are a few paras from Heartstone:

"Priddis laughed creakily. 'So many avoiding their obligations, and here is a fine lad offering to serve. But, young man, your place is at home. And in three years' time, you will be able to sue out your livery and take your place as a gentleman with your own lands.' He waved his good arm. 'Take your hand from your face; I of all people have reason not to be put off by blemishes. Stand forth boldly! If one attracts stares, that is how one must react. Eh, Master Shardlake?'

I did not reply. Hugh lowered his hand, and Priddis studied him a moment more. Then he looked at Hobbey. 'The boy has a pleasant aspect, despite those scars. Is there a marriage in prospect?'

Hobbey shook his head. 'I am leaving Master Hugh free to choose whom he would marry. There is no one at present.'

Priddis looked at me severely. 'It seems, Master Shardlake, that you may have been sent on a fool's errand. Your client risks heavy costs when the case returns to Wards.'

'It is my duty to investigate everything.'

Priddis inclined his head. 'I suppose that is your prerogative.'

Dyrick spoke scathingly ...."

And on and on.

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