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Harlen Coben et al

I bought a £1.99 paperback by Coben. I'd seen his name around a lot on the "adventure" bookshelves, read the reviews of this particular book, took it home, read....

It was dire.


As with James Patterson I KNOW that I could write a novel at least as good as the twaddle Coben presented to me amid glowing reviews. My ability to turn an English phrase is better than his, my sense of plot construction vastly better, my skill in portraying a character infinitely better.

I've little doubt that the same applies to many of you. I'm just not organised or motivated enough to prove my words!

But Harlen Coben was binned after 80 pages of garbage.

I'm like the Raven - "Never more"....


I've read a few Harlen Coben's - they are of the over-the-top violent humour.  Nothing like as bad as you have said, Greywolf, but I remember your response to Stephen Booth being similar, so I take it you don't like relatively formulaic crime novels.  I do and don't expect anything more than I get from them - a few hour's entertainment, reasonably competent writing with nothing special in it, some puzzle and the same detective/police/investigator, whose life nowadays changes a bit over the course of a series of novels.  I think Coben writes no worse than most of the others.  Do you like PD James or Val McDairmid or Sue Grafton or Peter Robinson or Ruth Rendall? Or even Minette Walters?

When I complained? to Harlen Coben about something in his first novel, I was quite impressed that he bothered to write back.  (Though that did just mean I was on a list for his advertising promotions.)
Not sure why he would be put under adventure though - they seems a different genre to what he writes.  I would class him more with Carl Haiason, though I have only read one of his and didn't really like it.  Probably didn't get the tone of it, and should try again.  

Cheers, Caro.

What was it you read?

I read 'Tell No One' because I'd seen the film and really enjoyed it (French Film, made with American money - v good - I'd recommend it!) and thus someone bought it for me as a present. To be honest, because of the blurb, size, shape of book and reputation of author, I wasn't expecting literary quality, but just page-turnability, and I wasn't disappointed. There were moments of cringe and horrible cliché, of overly self-concious fashioning etc. But it was a good plot, and it was very satisfying to finish and think 'well that's that then' and not have to think. But there again, sometimes I'm so tired I need a bit of trash, and this was one of those times!

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