Friday, June 3, 2016

Review: The Guise of Another

The Guise of Another The Guise of Another by Allen Eskens
My rating: 1 of 5 stars

I abide by a pretty strict Life’s Too Short to Finish Bad Books policy, but this one slipped through.

Yeah, the opening premise is promising – an accident unravels an old scheme predicated on identity theft – but it goes downhill rapidly.

For a time I thought I might learn something from this as a counter-example, but it is so ineptly done that it doesn’t even have that dubious virtue. The narrative, the voice, and the perspective are all, to put it simply, wrong. It switches from one tone to another in clumsy fashion, seeming to stagger toward a coherent conclusion. It features characters who attempt clever maneuvers to throw others off and then it shows the same characters making stupid, contrived choices. Supposedly insightful characters spend time (through an awkward point-of-view lens) in condescending asides explaining their motives and then, chapters later, act exactly opposite those motives.

If that isn’t bad enough, it has a 1980s slasher film morality, condemning violence at the same time as it revels in it, and punishing everyone for his or her sins with equal glee. It’s a conservative vision married to the amorality of noir, and it fails on both counts.

View all my reviews

No comments:

Post a Comment