Book review: Falling Short
This is a new feature on Words Worth Writing, in association with NetGalley.
Falling Short, Lex Coulton
Thanks to NetGalley and to John Murray Press for an advance copy of Falling Short, the debut novel by Lex Coulton.
Unfortunately, I didn’t like it. At all. And it certainly wasn’t funny – in my opinion. Instead it was like a bitter stream of consciousness – or unconsciousness – as it drifted from place to place and jumped from one character’s head to another.
I found the names of the schoolchildren completely pretentious and almost impossible to remember. I wasn’t sure which was the main plot and which was the sub-plot. I couldn’t empathise with any of the characters. There was far, far too much backstory and introspection. And I wondered if the book was trying to be something it wasn’t – literary.
I’d almost about given up when one of the main characters, Jackson, suddenly admitted to thinking about cooking Maria Callas – a prime example of bad editing/proofreading.
I struggled on for a few pages more, but then there was such a big anti-climax and the book just dragged on and on that I scan-read the last few pages as it spluttered to an unsatisfying end.
I suppose it felt unpolished, which is a shame as Coulton can clearly write and, underneath all of this, there’s the basis for a very good storyline. It just got lost somewhere.
Bit harsh? I was quite disappointed with it, especially with all of the hype calling it “fresh” and “funny”. I found it quite dark and depressing.