Wednesday, April 23, 2008

The Abortionist's Daughter

40 hours a week with headphones on leads one to Books on mp3. I spent a week's pay to get 24 downloads. One way I justify that in my mind is to pretend I'm learning when I listen to things.
I think I shall review the books here as I finish them. Previously I've read Salt and Beowulf. Salt is about salt and how it shaped and flavored and preserved the world. Beowulf is an old old story that was recently retranslated into friendly English (in verse! yay!).

The Abortionist's Daughter by Elisabeth Hyde.
Most books I know going into them. This one was one I picked off a List of Lists on Audible. Utterly random, excepting that the list title assured me the list was UK's choices on a level of the quality of book choices of Oprah. I was misassured. Oprah's list is good.
It's the story of a small town murder mystery. A prominent abortion doctor woman is killed at home and the story follows what happens next, and slightly before. It's the most god-awful piece of shit I've read in years. But I paid for it and am cheap, so I finished it.
The first most flagrant issue was there was no mystery. As soon as the murderer was introduced, you knew him. Whenever his storyline lengthened, you had no doubts. Every single other character was shown to have not been the murderer. I don't read many mysteries, but I'm going to have to assume that this isn't how they usually work.
The other big problem was that the whole situation was simply factually implausible. I've experienced a father assumed guilty. Elisabeth clearly has not. Small town cops don't work that way. Child porn kingpins don't go into a room off their kitchen and type a couple of things and remove the picture of the local DA's kid from their empire with a couple of clicks. Abortion clinics are nothing like how they were portrayed in the book. The murderer doesn't leave the incriminating glove at the scene that is only discovered months later while still wearing the other unmissing glove. Underage kids take sexually suggestive photos. This is not shockworthy.
All in all, a total bust.
The detective's name is Huck Berlin. His older, balding partner is always featured eating a doughnut out of the back of a police truck. The handsome, piercingly blue-eyed Huck cheats on his woman with the 19 yr old daughter of the deceased in a romance cut and pasted from a Harlequin Romance. In the final passages, they run into one another at the grocery store and she agrees to go with him to the pound to pick him out a dog.

The reviewers on Audible, to their credit, panned this shit. Amazon, you fail. I want to know whose hand to pad to get this shit to the public.
The Abortionist's Daughter 2.2



Blogger Lord of the Barnyard said...

also. the tenants have brought cows. this morning i had to shove a wet from birth calf back under a fence to her mother. how cute is that?

April 23, 2008 at 12:43 PM  
Blogger laughjon said...

Do you find listening to books generate the same response or pleasure as reading them?

I've never listened to a book on tape, other than John Hodgman's The Area's of My Expertise, which was completely unlistenable. At least it was free.

April 23, 2008 at 3:03 PM  
Blogger Lord of the Barnyard said...

not at all. it's completely different. any book i would really want to read, i would never listen to.

i more try to listen to stuff that's nonfic or difficult.
the first book i got on audible was war and peace. i'm on the 8th of 10 6-8 hour segments. it's god-awfully narrated. i don't know if i can finish.

April 24, 2008 at 2:57 PM  
Blogger laughjon said...

With my commute you inspired me. About 50 minutes a day on the train or walking makes a good time to listen, and reading on the train is just annoying. Blood Meridian was my first choice. So far so good. Following the story alright.

Man they over charge for these things though.

April 24, 2008 at 3:22 PM  
Blogger Leezer said...

Thanks for the review. I'll avoid this book.

I bought four or five books on iTunes and gave them to my folks for their drive accross country. The best things I've found to down load aren't books per se, but "This American Life," (an NPR show), Julia Sweeny's stand-up performance of "Saying No to God," stuff like this.

I hope you continue to audio books. You really ARE learning something, you know!

April 24, 2008 at 5:09 PM  
Blogger estelluxx said...

please finish war and peace.
not on tape.

April 25, 2008 at 8:11 PM  

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