Jack L. Douglas,
Vanishing Act
(Writer's Showcase, 2000)

My mother always said, if you don't have anything nice to say about someone, then don't say anything at all. If I still followed that hallowed maxim, this review would end right here. But I don't, and it doesn't.

I can't say that I read the entire book. I tried. A half a dozen times. The farthest I made it was page 62, which is the start of chapter 5.

I pride myself on being able to read almost anything. Before Vanishing Act, I probably would have said I could read anything you put in front of me. Not anymore.

The premise is that a professional magician who has spent years exposing phony psychics and the like must now uncover what may be his greatest challenge. What follows is some of the worst prose since G. Gordon Liddy made a stab at writing. The main character is an obnoxious lout with no redeeming qualities. None of the supporting characters are interesting enough to hold the reader's attention.

In short, it's just bad. Really bad. But not bad enough to make it good. Avoid this book. You can thank me later.

[ by Sionainn Cocheo ]
Rambles: 23 February 2002

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