Getting out of New York on a summer weekend can be quite a task. There’s the traffic, the traffic, and then once the traffic clears you get stuck behind bad drivers thinking 66 in the fast lane is plenty. Enter books on tape. The perfect solution to the traffic holding the audience captive. Good in concept, but The Lake House, by James Patterson, is horrible in practice.
We struggled not to turn it off, it’s that bad. The book is filled with pseudo product placements and references to pop culture that stick out and make you wonder if they were added for comedic value. Nary a glass of wine is sipped without a ‘Turning Leaf Chardonnay’ being mentioned. Character building is attempted by mentioning how much Maxine liked the movie, Shallow Hal, and her favorite actor, Gwenyth Paltrow. Names and brands are dropped like Patterson sold the spots for a thousand dollars a pop…is this a new business model?
As for Patterson being the ‘#1 suspense writer in America’, where’s the suspense? To have suspense, it helps to have characters that are defined by more than the products they consume or the music they like, ‘Isn’t Macy Gray the best?’ After building characters, writing suspenseful situations takes more than having the main character repeat, ‘You talk, you die.” over and over. Yeah, we get the picture, but we no longer care what you have to talk about.
Another review: Hackwriters.com