Autumn in Carthage – Christopher Zenos

Autumn

This book was terrible, so terrible I couldn’t even finish it.  Normally when a book is terrible I finish reading it anyway because I grudge paying for a book I don’t read, however, this one was a deal through BookBub and therefore I only paid 99p for it.

First off, the prose is terrible and the book makes excuses for itself even before it has really begun. it was as though the author was saying “Sorry, I know this plot is ridiculous and over the top, so let’s just go for it”.  I don’t know how many times I rolled my eyes at the dialogue and the plot itself took ages to go anywhere.  I managed to get  19% of the way in and I couldn’t even continue.  There were consistent, regular hints dropped about where the story was going – to the extent that I am pretty sure I know what the ending will be – however, real information was never given, there was never any moment of realisation or explanation which resulted in it being frustrating as well as obvious.

The casual sexism also frustrated me, the men were all presented as complex actual human beings in comparison to the women whom are described primarily by their features.

The book itself, and indeed the main character comes across as very biographical, this is fine everything has to come from somewhere after all, however, the author seems to spend a lot of time explaining why the main character is such a good person and so misunderstood. This shouldn’t need to be explained, it should be self evident. Also, when a character is too good, in my opinion, it can make them a bit boring.  What is interesting about people, and therefore characters is their flaws, explore them, utilise them, do something with them, just don’t make the character boring.

As an aside, despite the author’s protestations, I just wound up getting the impression that the main character is a complete and utter arse. Avoid at all costs, this was terrible. (Disclaimer: As noted above I didn’t finish this book, so potentially, the book may have gotten better and surprised me).

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