Saturday, June 14, 2014

Book: The Cold Dish by Craig Johnson

I've had the first Longmire novel, The Cold Dish, on my wishlist at paperbackswap for months - since I first watched Longmire on A&E's website.

I finally got it in the mail last week, and even though it's been probably more than a year since I read anything in print, I looked forward to reading this book so much that I started it that night. Reading at night by flashlight, reminiscent of my tween and teen reading years, when I had to pretend to go to bed at the appointed hour, and couldn't be caught reading after lights out. What fun.

This book seriously needs a better editor. I mean, really. It's not a poorly edited book, but it's not well-edited. Nope. Maybe subsequent reprints have been updated. I can hope.

Parris Island was misspelled Paris Island. Sight instead of site. Right of passage instead of rite of passage. Deep-seeded instead of deep-seated. Affect instead of effect. Multiple uses of sat instead of set. Grinded. Too many whos and thats making things more complicated, when the idea could have been communicated much more simply without them. A serious overuse of commas, much like I found in the first book I edited for someone who'd used Grammarly for their book edits before finding me. Sheath of papers instead of sheaf. Antiquainted, which is not even a word, instead of antiquated. Freeze de jour. If worse came to worse.

And oh, my gods. The dialogue. Dialogue and actions were mixed into paragraphs, such that I have a hard time sometimes keeping straight who is talking and who is acting, because both are done by different people in the same paragraph. He doesn't much believe in dialogue tags, which might be fine if there are only two people in a book, but there are dozens, and holy cow.

All of this had been making me crazy (er than usual), until I just want to throw the frakkin' book into the wall. Has everyone forgotten the English language, including editors?

Even crazier? I'm enjoying the book despite all those flaws.

Book Walt has a bizarre and twisted sense of humor that makes me laugh. Out loud. I love the relationship Book Vic and Book Walt have with each other - he appreciates her more than the show implies, and Book Vic is much more like a favorite scifi character than Vic is on the show. She's mouthy and independent and brash and competent (not that she's incompetent on the show), and drops the F-bomb a lot, and is more vulnerable and open with Book Walt than she's been on the show (understand that I've never seen the first season, only two and what's aired of three). Book Walt is spiritually-inclined and has a more interesting relationship with Henry Standing Bear - Henry is in many ways Book Walt's conscience. Their relationship is sometimes adversarial and sometimes cooperative, and there are moments that they don't need words to communicate, and underlying everything is a deep and abiding love for each other, in a way that is unusual in American heterosexual men, at least unusual in the sense that they love each other and are never awkward about it.

I'm just enjoying the hell out of this book, and it's been my oasis in the middle of a crisis, editorial mistakes notwithstanding.