The Chalk Man - C.J. Tudor

It's been an age since I put a book down after reading fewer than fifty pages but holy banana socks, Fatman, this motherfucker is terrible.

In the first ten pages we have the briefest of introductions to a cast of seemingly worthless throwaway characters: the obligatory fat kid, the prerequisite douchebag, the Beverly Marsh character, and a narrator with a voice so bland plain yogurt is planning to sue for copyright infringement. The main character is so goddamn generic that I didn't even know their gender until page 23. I was sure I was reading about a woman, but no, the narrator is a dude named Eddie. My bad.

The biggest sin here is the oldest sin in the history of literature: telling over showing, where we're given character introductions on par with D&D player cards.

Here's Bob. Bob is a mage. Bob is handsome and funny. Bob cracks jokes and people laugh. Ha-hee-ha-hee! This is Mary. Mary is pretty because she's the only girl in a crew fulla dudes. She has breasts. Because she's a girl. Did I mention she's a girl with breasts.


Instead of showing us these kids interacting, we're given character sheets and laundry lists of reasons to like or dislike them. How about you just let us watch them interact and let us (the readers) decide how we feel about them? Nah, because that would be too much work and this author is lazier than a vampire working graveyard shift at a blood bank.

So, in summation, I'm done. You know a book is bad when you can't even force your way through the first thirty pages.

Many thanks to Crown Publishing for the review copy. Thank fuck I didn't pay money for this one.