I do not consider myself to be a critic. In fact - I hate critics. However, I am becoming more of one each day. If there is a silver lining, at least I consider myself to be an "alternative" critic - a "people's" critic as it were. I try not to be pretentious and "Above" the reader. Nor do I write all the "right things" about these multi-million dollar authors. I speak my mind. Do not get me wrong - I love reading their novels; however, they are not "God" as some reviewers make them to be - where they can do no wrong. You will see my opinions are usually strong - in certain areas.
What kind of feedback do I get from you? Some people LOVE me because I say what has been on their mind - while others, yes others - hate me. I welcome it all. Any feedback is better than no feedback.
This website reviews four mainstream authors of our day: John Grisham, Micheal Crichton, Dean Koontz, and Tom Clancy. Yes - all are great authors and have novels and books that are fantastic. However, they also have a few stories that leave a lot to be desired. It's all right to disagree with me. If you do, please tell me! After all, I tell you my opinions. On the other hand, if you agree with me wholeheartedly, tell me that also! I would love to hear from you!
You have John Grisham. His books are usually consumed within days or hours. They are very much on the light side. Very cynical. He is less on description and heavy on straight dialog. My favorite book so far is "The Firm" followed by "The Rainmaker" and my least favorite so far is "The Street Lawyer". Even though all his books are about law, I do not tire of it. It's a case of either you like it, or you don't.
Then you have Tom Clancy. Some claim to absorb his books in days. Quite frankly, it takes me weeks. Some critics say his books are rather light on plot. That is correct in one sense - much of the novel is detailed techno babble. However, I believe his plots to be complex. They are long in size and contain many sub-plots - that sometimes do not connect. However, there is enough dialog to keep you interested if you suffer from A.D.D.. My favorite book so far is easily "Without Remorse". ("Clear and Present Danger" is my favorite Jack Ryan novel). While "Executive Orders" is my least favorite.
Michael Crichton is sort of in-between Clancy and Grisham. He is less on the description and more on dialog like Grisham. But in each book, he does add moments of either scientific data or just his opinion. For the later - they sometimes come off too "preachy" for me. That does get tiresome. He tends to talk down to the reader. I do admire how he writes on such a diverse amount of subjects. My favorite story - in my opinion - is "Jurassic Park" followed by "Sphere". My least favorite is "Congo".
Dean Koontz is a mystery writer. Some of his books could be extremely detailed and long while others flow smoothly. He has a very "pop culture" style about him. I recommend reading Strangers - a fascinating book.
I also review Sci-Fi. To be specific: Star Trek books and Star Wars books. Most are really bad - but with the right author (i.e. Peter David and Timothy Zahn) you can have a nice reading experience.
The Lettuce Master
updated july 2006