Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Book Review: Dead Men Are Easy To Love

Link To Amazon

This book is breezy, sometimes funny, lacking depth, and thankfully short. Dead Men Are Easy To Love is a somewhat Sex In The City wannabe, borrowing the tone, journaling technique, and bit-sized love tryst formula from that show. In what was a promising premise and good start, it failed to find its own voice. Ariel Roberts finds no joy in the men she dates and finds little joy with life. Quite frankly, I'd run screaming away from her and her negative energy in realty. She lives pretty high on the hog for a constantly broke freelance journalist in New York City when a gypsy gives her a crystal, allowing Ariel to inadvertently time-travel and date the dreamy dead men in their prime while she looks for love.

Hillary Kanter can write and probably had a good editor; however, the fact checking in this book is abysmal. Sadly, some readers won't care, reading it for the man-bashing (and some needed to be bashed) and mild, but fairly well-written love scenes. However, the historical inaccuracies are unforgivable. And what was worse, there didn't seem to be any compelling reason to avoid historical accuracy. Sorry, but we weren't at war when Ariel met Lindbergh in spring, 1939; Beethoven's 2nd premiered in 1803 not 1800; Hemingway was in Paris not Key West in May, 1926; Margaret Mitchell had been married for 14 years and not dumped by a boyfriend the night GWTW was premiered. The inaccuracies went on and on.

Sadly, many of her best lines are really from others in the form of clichés, quotes, and asides. There is a final surprise character late in the story, but again this is a rehashed technique and done better in the hands of more experienced writers. In all, this story has the feeling of being dashed off in a moment of inspiration without the soak time to make it a worthy buy. I should give this book a "2" for all the grief it gave this reader, but the story arc does provide a modicum of growth for Ariel and a message for her to hold on to in the end, though it is weak and somewhat mixed. This is a low-end "3".


Beth Camp said...

Stab me if I put this on my 'to read' list. Thank you, Rick, for skewering this offering. I just finished reading Joe Schreiber's _Au Revoir Crazy European Chick_ if you are looking for a late summer read that's a witty, ascerbic romp. Don't let the penguins get you!

Rick Bylina said...

I know the historical inaccuracies would truly offend someone as meticulous as yourself. I don't worry about penguin love nips. It's the two redheaded turkey vultures who have decided that my roof is a good place to spy a meal. I keep poking myself to make sure it's not me. Still alive and editing, editing, and editing.