Note: The basis of this review is limited. Although the author has forwarded me their complete manuscript, I have refrained from further reading because the book lacks a particular element in its writing. All grades are based on honest evaluations and will be supplemented by a couple of examples to prove my point.
The Hambledown Dream
By Dean Mayes
Cold Honest Truth:
- This book needs a better opening line.
OVERALL RATING: C+
While I have struggled to maintain a mild tone of voice, I think there are a couple of things I would like to touch upon within the first two chapters. I know I should read more of the work, but there have been a couple of major problems I ran into while reading that prevented me from reading the book any further. As I lay out the basic problems, I hope he is willing to take the critiques seriously and not scoff them off.
The story itself seems promising in the sense that the plot line sounds terrific from the blurb that I have read. Presenting two different stories for two different people and two different worlds sounds particularly interesting, especially between an Australian and an American.
For a sincerely inspiring story, his book does a good job in mixing tragedies and second chances as a story. This is quite impressive. However, that does not mean I think the writings skills he has exhibited in the first two chapters are as well executed as I imagined. The characters in the beginning are way too sympathetic that the storyline was beginning to sound sappy. While I do not mind evoking mixed emotions in a story, the problem behind this method is when the writer overuses melodrama. I think there is a chance he could do better in this department.
The first and second chapters are abrupt i.e., he is telling me two different scenarios too quickly. I would like to know one group of characters at a time, what they’re backgrounds are and what they anticipate in the writing.
Were I to read this aloud, I think half of this book would probably evoke an image quite opposite to what he intends. Nearly every paragraph in the first chapter sounds egotistical in a comical sense. From a rhythmic standpoint, sometimes I’m left wondering if I am reading the screen play of Monty Python or The Princess Bride. I know he is trying his hardest to make someone take the work seriously, but at this moment, the novel has produced a gut busting laugh. Not to mention that almost every chapter pause he inserts in the book sounds like he is trying to beat the obvious message down our throats. I would recommend that he study the style of ‘show vs. tell’ method because that will help cure this problem.
The last thing I want to mention about this book is that it lacks the essential element: dialogue. While I am trying to figure out the minds of these characters, I think there needs to be more dialogue that reveals the mind of the character than not. I honestly think there needs to be more of that than filling up the book with foul language.
Cover Design: A+
Unlike everything else that has been put under scrutiny, I would have to say that the cover is awesome! I think it fits quite well with the story that he is trying to convey here.
He is among the first of many authors who have complied with the formatting standards of a published writer. Not only do you include the page numbers along with the title, the chapter heading looks excellent. I must say that I am quite pleased with everything that you have done to make the readers think your work looks great.