I'll cross-post this from the November Reading Thread:
Just finished Richard Morgan's The Steel Remains
. It was a good book, but I had some major problems with the writing. Firstly, the style (especially early on) seemed to be some kind of half-assed stream-of-consciousness, like Morgan was either trying and failing to get that stream-of-consciousness feel, or he just accidentally ended up with over-long sentences and sometimes simply forgot what tense he was writing in. Secondly, the swearing, especially the word "fuck". I am not a fucking prude by any fucking stretch of the fucking imagination, but at times it fucking seemed that Morgan was fucking just randomly fucking inserting the word "fuck" into his fucking manuscript. Really, it just seemed like he would write a paragraph, and then add the required ratio of "fucks" to total word count, and it really
served to break up the flow of the narrative. Also, there were at least five times where one of our heroes would insult some nobody and said nobody's response would be "hey, fuck you", which just seemed childish and lazy to me. I don't mind profanity at all, but it should at least sound good. I suppose you could say I liked the book despite
Two more gripes I left out of the other thread:
1) I forgot to mention in my "fuck" rant that the word fuck was actually italicized
about 50% of the time. It was like Morgan really
wanted us to know he was saying fuck. This just seems to me like shock value, which is kind of a pet peeve of mine. Profanity (as well as graphic depictions of violence and sex) is used in literature as a means of injecting realism into the narrative. After all, profanity is an everyday aspect of most people's live in the real world. But there comes a point, a saturation point if you will, where the use of profanity in a manuscript goes beyond realism and enter the realm of shock value. A point where fuck or shit or cunt or prick or whatever is being used so often that it becomes unrealistic, and starts to interrupt the flow of the narrative. IMO this happened in The Steel Remains
2) We had two front and center non-human races in this novel; the Kiriath and the Aldrain, both of which were far older and far more advanced than the human race. I liked the idea of these two races, but I felt that Morgan failed to pull them off as well as he could have. Mainly this is due to the fact that both races talked, thought, and acted in exactly
the same why as their human counterparts.
Like I said earlier, I liked the book, but I had some major problems with the writing. I'll be picking up the next one in the series, and I'm hoping (based on what I saw in the last 50 pages or so) Morgan smooths out some of the wrinkles.
Edited by Myshkin, 07 November 2008 - 12:31 AM.