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Kids! Don't mistake Colfer for a writer!

I read Eoin Colfer's Artemis Fowl a few years back with moderate enjoyment. The opening pages of his The Supernaturalist, which my ten-year-old niece read aloud to me, were so intriguing that I borrowed the book from her and read the rest of it the other evening.



I have to suppose that Colfer had a good editing team at first, and that his publisher has since said, "What the hey--anything the guy writes will sell no matter what, so let's not waste editors on him anymore."

It's a fun story. The main character, Cosmo Hill, is born and raised in horrifyingly abusive circumustances and is as unlikely as Harry Potter to have the courage and social skills he displays--but I can forgive that. I can forgive the scary dystopian future setting that is saved from complete cliché only by some clever technology ideas.

But spelling mistakes and typos remain in the text (I'm pretty sure that in all branches of the English language, we take photographs through a lens, not a lense, but that mistake occurs at least twice); the narrative point of view is mushy, head-hopping and vague; the story depends on some ridiculous expository pronouncements in dialog; and the text is littered with awkward pronoun-substitutes as bad as any I've read in slash fanfic (e.g.: "...said Cosmo to the tall Russian..." where "the tall Russian" is the other main character).



I hate to think avid young readers like the ones in my family come away with the idea that Colfer's a good writer. A pretty good storyteller, yes. Writer? Not so much.

On the other hand, much can be forgiven an author who imagines a crack team of super-armed, high-tech, parachuting attack lawyers, and dubs them "paralegals."

Comments

( 1 comment — Leave a comment )
altariel
Feb. 1st, 2005 08:40 pm (UTC)
On the other hand, much can be forgiven an author who imagines a crack team of super-armed, high-tech, parachuting attack lawyers, and dubs them "paralegals."

Oh I like that. Yes, I can forgive a lot for that.

I enjoyed the energy and invention of the Artemis Fowl book I read but agree that the prose style sucked.
( 1 comment — Leave a comment )

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