Here’s hope for all the aspiring novelists out there

The Art of Racing in the Rain: A Novel

I just read (well, skimmed) The Art of Racing in the Rain.

It’s for a new book club I’m visiting next week, so I wanted to like it. I really really wanted to like it so I could participate enthusiastically (!) in the discussion, but I knew I was in trouble by page 7.

Wow. Can you say “trite,” “unoriginal,” and “one-dimensional”?

No character development. Shoot—no characters! Only stereotypes!

Completely predictable, not to mention unbelievable, plot. The whole thing reads like a bad Lifetime movie (apologies, Lifetime).

I struggle to see how nearly 2000 ratings on Amazon come up with 4.5 stars. That’s either a comment on the sophistication of the reading public, the success of Garth Stein’s marketing machine, or a whole lot of hope given to those of us still honing our craft.

Publishers, you can do better than this!