Power Play – Why Hype Annoys Me
Ive just finshed a book that I picked up on recommendation from a friend, who didn’t say anything major about it. Just a simple “this books pretty good”. Although the guy cant always be trusted (he recommended I buy the worst Xbox game Ive ever played once and even thinks Two and a Half men is funny), I generally trust him.
The book was Power Play by Joseph Finder. Before buying it I didn’t even read what it was about, but upon picking it up the front cover screamed “Moves like a bullet from a gun” — Lee Child. Being a name I recognise as a decent writer I thought this was pretty decent praise. On the back there was also a quote from the Guardian — “Read the first page and you wont be able to stop — you’ll be hooked”.
Hmm, sounds like some decent hype there, a big name fellow writer giving him props, and a promise of it being a page turner from the very first page.
So I open it up and the first page (as taken from Amazons look inside feature) is this
I’m not hooked. I’m not desperate to read the next page. Bullshit.
But fair enough, hooked from the first page could be a bit of a hype to make sure you get interested quickly. What about the “moves like a bullet” quote? I’d read another line on the cover that let me know this book featured a kidnap plot, so I was thinking I’d be thrust into the action quickly.
Nope. Wrong again.
The book takes about 150 pages to kick into full gear. I’m not saying this is a bad thing — the slow build before that is pretty awesome and fleshes out most of the characters so that you actually feel like you know them and care or don’t care about certain people by the time the book starts. But even after page 150 it doesn’t move like a bullet.
Its an awesome book, but I’m finding myself more pissed off by the hype than how good the book was. As soon as I saw the words kidnap plot I was worried the book would go into one of those typical action book plots of “the main character used to be a ninja assassin but quit it but now he has to use his skills again to save the world”, but it wasn’t, it was fantastically written and you felt like there was reason behind everything. I’d be quite interested in a film of this, but I imagine the slow build of the book would be cast away for explosions and gunfire.
On a happier note I picked up a book called World War Z based on a few friends raving about it, and the hype is fully deserved. It’s a book written as a kind of recap of the Zombie infection that plagued the world, looking back and interviewing key people from the times. So awesomely written and such a different style to anything Ive read.
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