Pulp poems, book reviews, and other tidbits from the noirboiled world
Sunday, May 11, 2008
Book Review: John Lange [Michael Crichton], Grave Descend (1970)
Midway through this book, I thought I would give it at least a B. The first act is top-notch. A professional diver named McGregor is hired to investigate a recently sunken ship, the Grave Descend, but the more McGregor learns, the clearer it becomes that he is being manipulated in some kind of convoluted scam.
As I finished the book, my rating was down to a C. As crime novels often do, this book demonstrates that it is easier to tie a knot than to untie one; indeed, in the final analysis, author Michael Crichton (a.k.a. John Lange) does not even attempt to make sense of all the plot's twists and turns. It seems that so many perplexing things happen in the first 150 pages simply because perplexing things can be entertaining.
And now, as I write this review, I am down to a D, because I have been thinking about the fact that the characters in this novel are unusually vapid, even for a lightweight read like this one. McGregor, the book's hero, is about as memorable as a stick of margarine.
Ask me tomorrow, and I may be down to an F. . . . Grade: D
A: Excellent. I intend to read it again. B: Good. I might read it again. C: So-so. I didn't mind reading it. D: Bad. I resented reading it. F: Atrocious. I finished it only because I'm compulsive that way.