I'm critiquing a story in which the author frequently uses "had," and I'm trying to figure out how to best explain to him exactly what the problem with this is. Is it because it's "passive voice?" Or, "passive writing?" Something else? Maybe someone can explain it a bit better. I find myself unable to articulate why this is not a good thing.

Here are some examples from the story. I pulled almost every "had" used in the first 1,300 words:

He forgot about blah and blah and the blah and all the things he had done.

... always after there was the terrible feeling that he had lost something ...

He could never figure out what it was, and because he was a man who had so many things he wanted to forget, he never tried too hard.

a worn old boathouse he had purchased four years ago.

He had not worn the four years since the explosion very well.

He had put some soft weight ...

... the wide red veins in his nose had swollen from drinking too much.

He himself had not taken the years any better.

He had watched it turn gray too, as it grew longer, until the last of his original brown had vanished.

He had grown very old in the four years since he had walked away from ...

He had tipped the chair back and swung his feet up ...

The pens and papers, credit card slips and receipt books he had kept neatly ordered inside lay in heaps ...

He had set aside one corner for the mattress he used as a bed.

In some of the above cases, it looks like the "had" can just be eliminated. In others, the problem is on a grander level than that.

Thanks very much for any help you can offer!