Dy's Take

January 13, 2009

Discipline by Paco Ahlgren

Filed under: Book Club,Literary Locals,LitFic,Skip It — Dy @ 23:09

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The author of this one tracked down one of the women in my book club from her review blog and offered her a dozen  copies of his book for her to pimp hand out to friends and family, asking only that we review it on Amazon when we’re done.

I very much wish I had the spare time over the last five days that I’ve spent reading this back to do something else with them–like wash the dishes or catch up on laundry.

Don’t get me wrong, it’s not a truly bad book. It’s just not a good one, either. I was hanging in there til page 76, when the MC experienced, “grizzly visions.” Seeing as there were no bears involved I found this lapse in copyediting unforgivable, and found myself reading with skepticism for the other 351 pages, waiting for more errors (there were a few,  mostly in the early chapters, and none as godawful as the one mentioned above).

Frankly, the book feels arrogant.  Even when Douglas is young his voice is old, experienced, and a bit smug. Jack, well, I actually liked Jack.  He was like a good ole boy version of Morpheus from the Matrix.  Jefferson though? He was high handed and pedantic and not particularly likable. I didn’t go into this book with any expectations. I came away from it feeling as though I’d spent five days being talked down to by a smug little wank.

Several people from my book club have mentioned that they saw the very end bit coming very early on. I didn’t catch it as early as most, but I did catch it. I think maybe I didn’t because this book was such a plodder for me. I got through it, but I am not sad to see the end of it. It could have come a hundred-plus pages sooner and I’d have been far happier.



  1. Three other people thought it was arrogant too.

    Let me guess. You’re a lonely housewife who gave up her dream to be an actress in order to have kids, which would explain why you find Janet Evanovich entertaining. Let me guess. You hate Ayn Rand too.

    Yep. I can see why you hate Ahlgren. Great review.

    Comment by Shannon Melton — January 14, 2009 @ 22:35 | Reply

  2. I don’t hate Ahlgren; I don’t know the man. I didn’t care for his book, that’s all. I think there are far better stories out there that seek to help people expand their horizons without preaching at them as though they are school children–authors like Heinlein, Herbert, and Gaiman, for starters.

    Comment by D — January 15, 2009 @ 07:28 | Reply

  3. *giggle* She thinks you are a lonely housewife.
    *giggle* She thinks you once had a dream of being an actress

    She totally made my night.

    And wow, what a horrible comment. If you google her and Paco’s name you’ll see she was pimping his book on another site or two. We all have opinions. I have a feeling mine falls between yours and this Sharon lady’s. And that’s okay.

    Comment by Candy — January 15, 2009 @ 18:54 | Reply

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