Thursday, July 1, 2010

Night and Day by Robert B Parker ****

Did you ever notice that most hardback novels are the same size? 9 1/2 " x 6" and 1 1/4" How does this work? It's done with font size, line spacing, and margins - all tricks students now learn in junior high when writing 5 page essays. Publishers can also fudge the paper thickness. Compare Night and Day by Robert B Parker with under 300 pages and 50,000 words (hardly a novel at all, maybe a novella) with Handle with Care by Jodi Picoult with over 400 pages and 150,00 words - both virtually the same physical size.

Night and Day is the eighth novel (novella?) featuring Jesse Stone, a Jimmy Stewart-like character who's clipped sentences make me imagine the author is being charged by the word. He's certainly no Dickens, who was paid by the word.

Anyway what is this mystery about: Sex - preadolescent sex. A junior high principal who checks the girls for appropriate underwear, a peeping tom, a swinger's club, and, of course, Jesse's ex-wife who sleeps with whomever might advance her career. Given the contents, don't be surprised that much of the other dialogue concerns immature sexual innuendos and much sophomoric tittering.

Maybe, my best recommendation is that it is short and without surprises.

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