Anyone familiar with book promotions knows about the term “page-turner.” It generally means that a book is so engrossing and well written that the reader keeps turning the pages because they can’t help themselves. You know: “This new novel is a real page-turner!” One sees this sort of comment on the front or back of nearly every paperback. OK. Maybe I exaggerate.
Well, folks, I have found that there is another kind of page-turner out there. This one isn’t as positive.
I’m currently reading “The Darwin Conspiracy,” by John Darnton (Anchor Books, 2006). According to the “blurbs” this book will be “an elaborate scientific thriller” with a “thrilling fast pace” in which the “pages turn quickly.” Well, I’m still waiting for the scientific thriller and the fast pace. I am, however, turning the pages. Why? Because I’m waiting for something to happen! Anything! I’m on page 90 and have yet to find anything remotely thrilling in here.
So I keep turning the pages because this subject interests me and I’m hoping something will happen. Soon. Dean Koontz would have had the reader hooked 80 pages ago. It’s not that it’s badly written, but a “thriller” shouldn’t just amble along. There hasn’t been even a hint of what the so-called “conspiracy” is.
Has this ever happened to you? How many pages would you go before you called it quits? I’ll give it another chapter. Maybe two. It does help me go to sleep at night though.