Wednesday, January 15, 2014

The Forever Summer

2007, first Avon Books paperback edition
Suzanne MacPherson
The Forever Summer
Bought in 2010 or '11 for $5.95
Slightly worn paperback, with an autograph that came with the book, "Happy Haunting! Suzanne MacPherson, Oct. 2010"

Outside of the Twilight series, this is probably the worst edited book I've read that's been published in the last decade.  (See for examples of the former.) MacPherson's unstopped errors and flaws include, but are not restricted to,

  • Sentences without enough commas, causing confusion of meaning
  • Sometimes laughably misspelled or misused words, like "in tact" for "intact" and "censured" for "censored"
  • The paragraph on p. 21 that begins "It was hard to believe..." and is repeated almost intact (or in tact) on p. 43, and not for any kind of Joseph-Heller disorienting intention, but instead muddying up the chronology
  • A passage where a character whose perspective we're supposed to be in is on his cell phone "to somebody"
  • Inconsistencies of character, including whether and if so how often and how harsh the protagonist swears (she of course says "ass hole" as two words)
  • The banishment of the sidekick for a good chunk of the novel (Either don't introduce her, or have her and the protagonist stay in touch more while she's away, if she has to be gone.)

If the book were competently edited, I would definitely give it a C+ or even a B-.  It's a romance/mystery/ghost-story/comedy and MacPherson does a nice job of blending the tones.  I will admit I'm not crazy about the romance cliches, like Lila and Lucas having a perfect First Night together.  (And for all the sneaking around they do, didn't it occur to either of them that she shouldn't scream herself hoarse with pleasure?)  He of course has a Keyesian "huge" penis and, as she points out, she keeps saying she's not going to have sex with him and having it anyway.  But I couldn't really take any of this too seriously, when there's a ghost leaving clues with Cheese Whiz, and the local book club is holding seances.

I bought this book in a now-defunct bookstore in Port Gamble, the town where the story is set.  I assume that MacPherson did an author signing and this was a leftover.  It'll now go to my favorite used bookstore, for someone else's "happy haunting."

No comments:

Post a Comment