Posts Tagged ‘implausible plot’

Finding The Moon In Sugar: Gint Aras

August 27, 2009 2 comments

In this tragicomedy, Gint Aras’ hapless and marijuana-dazed narrator, Andrew Nowak, is seduced by a bomb-shell internet bride. The mysterious and wealthy Audra soon consumes the twenty year-old boy’s imagination, a welcome distraction from his needy mother and sister. Wild and hilarious adventures await Andy in Lithuania when he sells his possessions to follow Audra abroad. But he soon finds himself trapped penniless in her world of illness, regret and sex. Stumbling backwards into a romance he never sees coming, Andy must deal with Audra’s narcissism and grapple to understand her, a struggle that might just destroy him.

Gint Aras’s book, Finding the Moon in Sugar, is so very nearly good. Its narrator, Andrew Nowak, speaks with a clear and original voice and reveals far more about his background and attitudes through his own misconceptions than is given on the page. The slangy, almost dialect-like writing style is easy to slip into; and the story moves forward at a pretty good pace.

It’s let down by wooden and unconvincing characterisation (especially in the female characters), a few completely unbelievable scenes, and some jarring inconsistencies which throw the whole text out of focus. The sex scenes in particular are badly written and consequently lose the impact they should have; the writing style is inconsistent; and there are a few examples of exposition which really intrude. There were several instances where the characters accepted odd behaviour without question, or just didn’t seem surprised when extraordinary things happened; and the text was littered with clichés. I read eighteen pages before giving up.

I would like to see this book edited thoroughly to get rid of all of those inconsistencies (why abbreviate “because” to “cauze” throughout, but abbreviate no other similar words?); the characterisation needs to be significantly improved; and that sex-scene on page five has to be completely rewritten and given a proper build-up because as it is, it’s excruciatingly embarrassing. A shame, as this writer shows real promise and I had hoped for so much more.

Lord Of The Rams: Ronan Smith

August 20, 2009 16 comments

Finally, the greatest story never told gets told.

Join one man for the adventure of his life and, in doing so, experience growing up in rural 1980s Ireland. Meet this man’s eccentric group of friends, follow his escapades throughout Ireland and beyond, and gain valuable insight into the life of a lord … Lord of the Rams.

What Munterconnaught’s book critics are saying:

“A great present to give to somebody you don’t like.” – Shane Brady

“I’ll buy two copies. F*cking brilliant.” – Eugene Tighe

“The worst pile of shite I’ve ever read.” – Trevor Geraghty

Ronan Smith’s Lord of the Rams: The Greatest Story Never Told has an interesting illustration on its cover and it’s a pleasant-enough read: but it’s a very episodic, built from a series of short anecdotes which are connected only by the characters they feature. There is little flow through the text; instead we moved from anecdote to anecdote via chunks of exposition and this lack of narrative arc means that the reader has no motivation to keep reading: it’s all too “samey” and provides no tension or climax.

The author has a slapdash approach to punctuation which doesn’t help: his use of dashes is spectacularly inconsistent, particularly in the acknowledgements; and he really needs to decide if he’s going to hyphenate “smart-ass” or not, rather than alternate between the two forms. There were several instances where the writing was muddled and imprecise: I could usually work out what was meant, but sometimes could not be sure. On page nine, for example, I found this sentence: “Standing beside his mother, Rams stared in amazement at a woman unlike he had ever seen before”. This is not good writing, and from my brief read and a quick flick through, it’s typical of the entire book.

Overall, then, this read more as a first draft than as a publishable book. It needs restructuring to provide a proper sense of growth throughout the narrative; it needs to be rewritten so that the anecdotes seem less isolated and provide a sense of growth and climax. The characterisation could definitely be improved; and it needs a strong copy-edit to deal with all those careless mistakes. The clichéd subtitle does the book no favours; and the lamentably weak back cover copy could have been written for all sorts of books. I read just eight pages out of the 215 which make up the story.