“Shovel Ready” by Adam Sternbergh

Before exams were over and Christmas break began I found out about a terrible thing (and by terrible, I mean WONDERFUL). Blogging for Books is a website were bloggers can sign up to receive free copies of books through Crown Publishing Group (a division of Penguin Random House). The only two requirements are that: 1) you must have a blog, and 2) you must post a review of each book you receive (and you do get to pick out of their list) to your blog. If you love books and you have a blog (which you probably do if you’re following me through wordpress) I would definitely encourage you to look into it! Now, on to my first review:

“Shovel Ready” by Adam Sternbergh is described in glowing terms in the reviews I read before I received it. And it was a good book. However, for a debut novel, it was honestly a bit boring and extremely hard to read. I’ve never read a book before that completely threw traditional dialogue out the window (and throughout the book I was constantly wishing he hadn’t). For a book that was already pretty slow, but redeemable, I believe that having to trudge through the difficult to read writing style was an almost certain death blow.

At first I was surprised by the choice to do away with traditional dialogue, but increasingly throughout the story I began to cringe every time I had to re-read (again) a set of sentences in order to understand what was being conveyed. For a short story, this type of writing style might be do-able–and possibly helpful, as short stories rely on fewer words to convey something and therefore need the reader to dwell on what words are being used to understand the full meaning–but it severely affected the pace of the novel.