thebiblioholic - (Rose-Gold) Dust

Dec. 20th, 2013

08:47 pm - (Rose-Gold) Dust

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I'm reading Dust by Patricia Cornwell, her 21st Scarpetta novel. I keep getting distracted by her repetitive use of the term "rose-gold". It isn't the only thing repetitive in this tome, but this strikes me even more than the plot repetitions:

(page 230): Lucy is dressed in a black flight suit that accentuates her slender, strong build, her bright green eyes and her rose-gold hair that she's cut boyishly short.

(page 239): Lucy has gotten more animated as she talks, gesturing with her hands, light winking from the rose-gold signet ring she wears on her left index finger.

(page 329): "She's safe," Lucy repeats with the same grim smile playing on her lips, her face in profile, angular and strong, her short rose-gold hair tucked behind her ears.

(page 412): Copper cookware as bright as rose gold hangs from a wrought-iron rack above a butcher block with a maple top where plastic bags of groceries are spilled open, hastily set down by the chef when he returned from shopping late today.

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From:holmesfan
Date:December 21st, 2013 08:51 am (UTC)
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That certainly sounds very odd - is she losing it do you think, or just getting sloppy in her drafting. One would think an editor would have spotted such obvious repetition.
Does this mean that you didn't really enjoy the book?
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From:thebiblioholic
Date:December 21st, 2013 06:00 pm (UTC)
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She's not as good a writer as she thinks she is, but sells well enough that her editors let her do anything they want, including not trimming out the excess from her books. This was a 500 page book and almost nothing happened that couldn't have been written in 10 pages. But the main character moaned and groaned about everything repeatedly in case the readers were dense and didn't catch the point.

Her first nine books in this series were good and then things went down hill. She took a brief detour into what she thought was "humorous" novels that were actually quite horrible. She attempted a third series that was very poorly written. Around this time she switched her Scarpetta novels from first person voice to third. The characters got very nasty and unlikeable, but she defended her decision for a while then backed down and went back to first person. The books improved a bit, but never got to the original levels. They are more superficial, wordy, and repetitive.

Some past journal entries I wrote about Cornwell:

Trace
London part 2, Patricia Cornwell
Patricia Cornwell should try her hand at the Bulwer-Lytton competition
(2006-07-13 22:08)

Book of the Dead
Scarpetta
The Scarpetta Factor
Port Mortuary
Red Mist


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From:amyleaton
Date:December 22nd, 2013 05:13 am (UTC)
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It almost makes you wonder if she's got a bunch of hacks writing under her name, like James Patterson has...
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