Adam Wilson's Reviews > Cover

Cover by Jack Ketchum
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's review
Sep 25, 2011

it was ok

Jack Ketchum has definitely become a sort of love/hate author for me with it leaning more towards hate now with the very small weight of Cover to tip the scales. I am very surprised that the author of The Girl Next Door and the amazing short story collection Peaceable Kingdom wrote this. Like Hide and Seek, this book dragged on and on and on in the first two thirds making me wonder why it was a novel in the first place. The action doesn't really start until about 70% in and that part is fantastic if you don't think about how much damn build-up there was ad how gray the characters are, except for Lee of course. After reading the Things They Carried by Tim O'Brien, Cover really felt like it was trying too hard to tell some new little stories about soldiers' experiences in Vietnam, but they felt very old to me. Maybe it is because I have read so much about the war but this book didn't get me interested. Sure, the story of a suffering war vet chasing some campers through the woods as if they are VC is fascinating, but that could be done in a short story, the same as Hide And Seek, Ladies' Night, Red, and Joyride. I did not hate the book, but I wasn't impressed by a single part of it and, despite Ketchum's research put into it, and Thomas Tessier's glowing review of Ketchum, his books, and Cover in particular pasted at the end of the book as if to assure the reader that what they just is read because another author says so, I can't give it more than two stars.

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