Thursday, April 29, 2010

117 Days of James Patterson - Day One

Being a cynic and kind of a jerk, I have decided to undertake this massive, mind-numbing, sarcasm-laced project in a determined & honest attempt to understand the irresistible magnetic charge that James Patterson projects upon his faithful readership. The entirety of this project will entail my reading and reviewing exactly one chapter - never skipping ahead, no matter how badly I want to - from Patterson's new book, The 9th Judgment, (part of the "Women's Murder Club" series, co-written with Maxine Paetro. I mean, he doesn't even write these things by himself, people!) every day until I reach the highly anticipated, life-changing, explosive, enthralling conclusion. Being that there are 117 chapters in this 355 page novel, this project will be dubbed, 117 Days of James Patterson. Why am I doing this? Because (according to one of every 15 books sold in the US in 2007 was a Patterson title. Because he recently signed a 17 book, 3 year publishing deal with Hachette. Because he will have 3 more books released before the end of August. Because he owns a hat that says "Relax". I will not relax, Jim! Taste my fury!

Day One, Chapter One:
I enter the project with some trepidation - can I in fact read this whole thing? Do I have time in my life to read this crap, even for comedic purposes? Even worse, will I be able to find something to write about for every single chapter? I mean, even at an average of 3.034188 pages per chapter, it's still pretty time consuming. Will my brain die as a result?

The first "chapter" is actually part of a three-chapter, 9-page prologue - Patterson is already behind the Seth Marko Eight-Ball here, as I truly despise the unnecessary use of the prologue in fiction - where we find Sarah Wells trying to break into the home of Casey & Marcus Dowling. As she's making an attempt at pilfering their jewelry cabinet, someone walks into the adjoining room and she hides, "a thief in the night".  Some choice pieces:
  • Good timing, Sarah thought. In fact, perfect.
  • She noted the console table to her left, which was loaded with whatnots.
  • It was cra-zzzy. Casey Dowling owned all of this.
  • She paused to study a particular ring in its own leather case, to marvel at the frickin' wonder of it...
What will happen next?
Day Two.


  1. I don't know! Perhaps she'll hear a blood curdling scream? Looking forward to day two. Scrolling up...

  2. Nice! lol! God how I hate James Patterson. It's good to know there are other people out there who think his writing is crap. I'll be back for the next 116 days. :)


  3. well, since an RA mentioned your journey with Patterson I figured I'd check it out. I'm going to catch up now -- 20 posts should be as easy to read as Patterson, I figure. Great idea!

  4. I had to come post again - yep it's me, Anonymous :)

    So - do you suppose JP has a link to "Report Abuse" on his website? I mean, seriously...I'd say it's fairly abusive to force someone to consider BUYING and READING this book. Seth - you oughta write your own book on 52 miserable authors. You'd be done in a year - one a week - way less painful than this 115 day adventure...

  5. Thank you for sacrificing your time to read this so we don't have to....
    I'm looking forward to following your agony

  6. Seth, I was so looking forward to your postings. It's a clever concept, 117 Days of James Patterson. But, you abandoned your stated mission -- "I have decided to undertake this massive, mind-numbing, sarcasm-laced project in a determined & honest attempt to understand the irresistible magnetic charge that James Patterson projects upon his faithful readership." -- on day one.

    You have applied the sarcasm, all right, but is that it? No actual analysis? As one of your readers wrote, and I'm paraphrasing, Patterson work is all about pacing. And what else? The number of words? The time it takes you to read a chapter? I expected more of you or really anyone who is a reviewer to give some insight into the work. You summarize. Lift. Scoff. Complain. Repeat. It's the same joke every day. I suggest you read the book or throw it out and save yourself the agony.

    Read something you enjoy and give us an actual review of that. Or, bark away. It's your blog. 9th Judgment was #1 on the New York Times best seller's list last week. I look forward to having a good, fast read and then on to something else.
    Carol Anne
    San Diego

  7. Well, Carol Anne, I am terribly sorry to so disappoint you.

    You're looking for "actual analysis" here? God, how lame would that be? I know I said I would offer a "determined and honest attempt" at understanding the appeal to Patterson, but I have yet to uncover anything but profoundly shitty writing in this book, hence the excerpts, haikus, and jokes every day. As soon as James Patterson produces a work worth giving serious review attention to, I will review it as such. (Have you tried Googling "james patterson review?" Good luck.)

    And how does the appearance of The 9th Judgment atop the NYT bestseller list make it a worthwhile read? This is really closer to my point, actually: Patterson can phone it in as badly as in the "9th Judgment" and still sell more books than anyone else in the country. That's effed up.

    I'm sorry that you can't see the humor in these posts. I don't know what else to say to some of your comments. Wait, are you actually James Patterson?

    One last thing: I've been writing on this humble blog for about 4 years - that's 4 years of "serious reviews" of real books that you've missed out on. So lighten up a little and just enjoy this stuff. Or don't, I guess - the choice is yours.

    Thanks - Seth

  8. It warms the cockles of my heart -- the deep chambers I didn't even know were there -- to see so many other people who think Patterson is the devil. I can't ever hate this writer enough. I try, but it's just... never... enough!

  9. James Patterson is not a good writer I wonder who read his writings.

  10. Yes! I was given a Patterson book (Alex Cross series) on a return flight to Asia by a nice man sitting next to me. I read almost half way through it with the same weird fascintation as you would watch a train wreck.

    My thoughts as I recall were: "I cannot believe someone gets paid to write this" and "This is horrible surely the next page cannot be worse...(turns page) HOly $^&% this is horrible..." and "WTF is this @&#^?"

    I like this blog and thank you for making fun of Patterson. I needed a good laugh today.

  11. Forgot to add: I left that book on the plane for the next hapless victim. I hope it found a new home in the rubbish bin and I feel bad for the trees that had to die to be used for paper for that crap.

  12. Ha! Thanks for stopping by, URL. (Sweet handle, by the way.) I have to warn you - you may go blind and/or insane reading these JPatt posts.