Bad For Boys

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If there's no mystery about writing for boys, why can't the publishers crack it? - Independent Online Edition > Features

The problem with this online version of a thought-provoking piece about the quality of fiction for boys is that it has no byline. If someone, can let me know whose opinions these are I'd be really grateful.

...The Chaos Code (Faber ?7.99) is clearly intended as a Da Vinci Code for kids. Now I've read no further than the first page of The Da Vinci Code, but I gather that, although badly written, it does at least have plenty of pace and incident. The Chaos Code is also badly written. (A dead giveaway is that the characters invariably express good nature or amusement or friendliness or reconciliation by grinning; a book where the characters keep grinning at each other is never worth reading.) Unfortunately, it is also lacking in pace and incident. Okay, it's got monsters made of sand and a hidden palace in the South American jungle and the Lost City of Atlantis and quite a few fights. Yet it's all curiously lifeless, padded out by pages of tedious conversations in which the characters give each other lectures about the Knights Hospitallers of Jerusalem. This won't make boys read. It's more likely to put them off. Dean Vincent Carter, author of Hunting Season (Random House ?10.99) has been called "the next Stephen King". I've read some Stephen King and the big difference is that he knows what's frightening, and Dean Vincent Carter doesn't...

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This page contains a single entry by achuka published on July 24, 2007 7:28 AM.

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