Power Play – Why Hype Annoys Me
Ive just finshed a book that I picked up on recommendation from a friend, who didnâ€™t say anything major about it. Just a simple â€œthis books pretty goodâ€. 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 didnâ€™t even read what it was about, but upon picking it up the front cover screamed â€œMoves like a bullet from a gunâ€ â€“ 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 â€“ â€œRead the first page and you wont be able to stop â€“ youâ€™ll be hookedâ€.
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
Iâ€™m not hooked. Iâ€™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 â€œmoves like a bulletâ€ quote? Iâ€™d read another line on the cover that let me know this book featured a kidnap plot, so I was thinking Iâ€™d be thrust into the action quickly.
Nope. Wrong again.
The book takes about 150 pages to kick into full gear. Iâ€™m not saying this is a bad thing â€“ 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 donâ€™t care about certain people by the time the book starts. But even after page 150 it doesnâ€™t move like a bullet.
Its an awesome book, but Iâ€™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 â€œthe main character used to be a ninja assassin but quit it but now he has to use his skills again to save the worldâ€, but it wasnâ€™t, it was fantastically written and you felt like there was reason behind everything. Iâ€™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. Itâ€™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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