View Full Version : Codex by Lev Grossman

05-17-2007, 04:27 AM
Has anyone else read this, and were they as offended as I was? We've all seen bad books which somehow make it to publication, but this one is special (at least thats my theory). You see, the author just happens to be the book critic for Time Magazine. And now for my theory:

Would any publisher risk turning this guy down? I doubt it. They would publish his book just to be safe, a small price to pay in the long run.

Well, the publisher got the last laugh because its quite obvious that, although they agreed to publish it, they certainly did not waste any time editing it. Its packed full of mistakes (plot included).

Here are a few samples:

Maybe it would all be all right after all.

Some may find this nit-picky, but I have a big problem with authors who over-use a word, and here he uses the word 'all' three times in one sentence. Its clunky and jars readers from the story. If it were dialog, I might let it pass, but this wasn't dialog.

He was dressed neatly, with a neatly knotted tie.

There's another spot where he uses the word 'seemed' 4 times in about 8 lines of text.

There's more, but I don't want to type in the entire book.

So, how about the plot? Well, if it were just bad editing and clunky sentences, I probably wouldn't be ragging so much. But, the plot was the worst part.

The character's actions made no sense at all. They did completely irrational things because, I'm sure, the author couldn't think of any other way to introduce parts of the story.

For example: At the beginning of the book, the main character's boss assigns him the task of locating a special, and ancient book for a client, even though the main character is a stock broker and knows nothing about ancient books. And, on top of that, he's on vacation. Yet he agrees to the task anyway. Maybe he just wanted a little adventure? Not likely since the book is suspected to be in a crate in the client's attic. There are a dozen or so of these large crates in the attic. Our hero opens one of them, reads the titles off the covers and places them aside if they are not the right book. Sounds simple? Eleven crates to go. Any normal person would have continued on to the next crate. Actually, any normal person would not have taken the job in the first place, but I'll accept that he did. So, instead of just opening the next crate, he decides that he could not possibly complete his task unless he first learns more about this book, so he heads to a special library for ancient books, where by amazing coincidence, he meets the romantic interest of the story, who just happens to be an expert on ancient texts and is writing her thesis on the very same author that wrote the book he is supposed to be looking for.

Sometimes we have to throw in coincidences like this, I'm not complaining about that. I'm complaining about him having to go to the library in the first place. He had no reason to go to that library. Obviously the author could think of no plausible way to introduce this new character, and with her the dark and mysterious history of the lost book.

OK, enough criticism (I'm becoming so cynical in my old age)

Mostly, I point this stuff out because, unless you happen to be a big shot critic, you better avoid doing this in your work.

05-17-2007, 04:30 AM
Oh, and by the way Lev, just in case I ever do get published, my name is Pat Stimplestulmeyerson, yeah, thats it.