Wednesday, January 08, 2014

Some Comments on Nelson DeMille Novels

Nelson DeMille is one of my favorite writers.  He does not write crime/drama novels instead he writes Thrillers.  Books you can’t put down once you start reading the book.  Since his books are in the 500 to 600 page range they can disrupt your daily routine until you finish them.  The story line is usually a major catastrophe about too occur and he writes about that until the last second before the earth is destroyed or whatever the event is.  You hang in there reading each page with even more intensity than the first page.  I have only read about eight of his novels and they were more of the stand along story line, with the John Sutter and Paul Brenner series.  I have not read the John Corey series.

He is the son of a French Canadian Father (explains some of his deficiencies) and an American mother.  He was born in August of 1943 so he is the same age as I thusly there are some shared experiences which always increase my interest in a novel.  He grew up on Long Island New York and includes that area in some of his novels.   He started writing in the late 1970’s and has over 25 books to his credit.  One “The General’s Daughter” was made into a movie.  The novels that came after the movie came out show a slight change in direction as they seem to be written with the hope they will be made into a movie. 

His books do display a number of things I find distracting at time (but not enough to put them down).  First, being from Long Island he has the New England Inferiority complex, meaning he has to write in a negative fashion about anyone not from the Northeast so he can feel superior to the rest of the United States.  This inferiority complex is also part of Dan Brown’s books (Da Vinci Code etc).  Second, his books are formula books – admit he has a good formula but reading one book will tell you about how the rest of his books will be.    In a book by a different Author; Edgardo Vega Yunque “The Lamentable Journey of Omaha Biglow into the Impentrable Loisaida Jungle”  The Author interface dialog with the characters in his novel.  In his discussions he talks about formula novels and authors “who write the same novel over and over again as if they were manufacturing Pablum for toothless adults.”  Yunque also mentions the “use of foreign phrases to create atmosphere and exoticism.”  Latin phrases frequently appear in DeMille books.  

Other things I find distracting is his male lead character seems to hook up with a woman 20 years younger than him.  His characters seem to have unlimited access to money.  All of his characters are unflattering and all are despicable and even minor characters are rarely role model for honesty and the American way.  Parts of his book tend to be travelogue as filler and parts of his books contain trivia facts.  He will accept donations to charities to include your name as one of the characters in his book.   

Well it sounds like I have written more negative items about his books than good, but the truth is he is just a good writer and his books will entertain you and frequently take you into a world you hope does not exist but in the back of your mind you know it does.   As I said he is one of my favorite writers.

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