Tuesday, October 05, 2004

A brief rant

I'm afraid I succumbed again. A while ago, I read James Patterson's latest Alex Cross novel, London Bridges. My reasoning was something like this: I may as well read it because it'll only take me about half an hour. (Hyperbole, but only just.) Now, I know the futility of trying to stomp on the Patterson machine, but, regardless, I would like to register my brief disgust at several aspects of the book.

Mainly, my issue is with the British cover, which can be viewed here.

A mother holding a crying, obviously very distressed baby? A recogniseable landmark (London's millennium bridge, which doesn't even feature in the book) being blown up? Frankly, I am horrified. There's such a thing as going too far, and Headline have gone it. I know that many covers are emotionally exploitative to a degree, but I was disgusted by this. I am possibly (probably) overreacting just a little, but I really don't care. There are some bridges which should not be crossed in order to simply sell a book - a book which also exploits the current world situation as well. Quite frankly, this is not what the world needs to be seeing. It certainly doesn't need its current weakness, a slightly paranoid fear of terrorism, exploited and taken advantage of by writers and publishers in order to line their own pockets. If this were a better book, if it actually aimed to say something about issues, that would almost forgive some of the content of the book (although, frankly, for me nothing can justify that cover).

Anyway, that's me done. I felt I had to at least mention this grievance of mine, even though I probably shouldn't be surprised at it. I feel rather dirty that I even have a copy of it.