Monday, 24 February 2014

Have Gun, Will Play by Camille LaGuire

Well. That was three or four hours of my life utterly wasted. When you look back on the books you’ve read over the year, there is undoubtedly one, if not two, perhaps even three, that stand out because they’re outstanding and one (or more) because they are…not so outstanding. This one was the lemon for my year so far.

It’s a western. Two young (very young) gunslingers, Mick and Casey, are hired to keep a rather precocious little girl, Laurie, and her aunt safe, as her Daddy is an unpopular bigwig in town. Needless to say, the job doesn’t go too well and there’s a lot of shooting, dead guys, deceit, betrayal and sore heads. Moreover, there’s something very unusual about a certain box of toys that belongs to Laurie, that seems to cause quite a lot of interest.

The whole thing is confusing and a mess. The characters are like cardboard cut-outs: the story is so ‘told’ (not one bit of ‘show’), I got no emotion from any of them and couldn't, therefore, afford them any in return. The story was poorly written: it lacked maturity (or experience), there were a number of typos and missing words, and the author seems to have no grasp on how to use the correct tenses.

This was unputdownable for all the wrong reasons: I couldn’t wait to finish it and get on to a good book.  The only commendation I can give is that the author sat down and had a jolly good try.