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The Lake House

Posted - Jul. 21, 2003 at 4:24 a.m.



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THE LAKE HOUSE By James Patterson

I’ve read a number of James Patterson’s books over the years, Kiss the Girls, The Beach House, The Jester, When the Wind Blows. His newest bestseller is a sequel to When the Wind Blows, and it’s as shallow and unimaginative as I feared. This is definitely a book you can and should skip this summer.

The Lake House felt like young adult bubblegum science fiction to me. The shorthand style writing that Patterson is known for feels so shallow here. In fact, the characters, the plot, the dialogue – all weak and amateurish. It’s dumbed-down prose that feels like it was written in a hurry. And when you think about how many books James Patterson has cranked out in recent months, maybe he ought to consider slowing down long enough to give his loyal readers something of substance next time – if they give him a next time.

As a sequel to When the Wind Blows, The Lake House is the story of six young kids who were genetically altered to give them wings to fly. That fantastic plot might have been compelling if Patterson had given the characters some depth and spent less time trying to sound hip by dropping names of recording artists like Moby, a detail that feels added in after the fact by some 20-something editor. Patterson even tries to exploit another author’s work by using the word “muggles” in his prologue. What’s up with that? I’ll think hard before I read another James Patterson novel after being disappointed with The Jester and now almost laughing at the intended thriller, The Lake House.

My recommendation this week is definitely skip The Lake House by James Patterson, even though it’s number 3 on the New York Times bestseller list. On the Book Beat for KSL Newsradio 1160, I’m Amanda Dickson.

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