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Thursday, November 24, 2005

The Casual Critic — Sidney Sheldon's The Sky is Falling

Sidney Sheldon's The Sky is Falling was decent entertainment, filled with easy-to-read chapters that had frequent breaks — great for those of us that like to know a place to put our book marker is never far — and a thick plot that sends the protagonist on a romp around the globe.

Journalist Dana Evans doesn't quite buy that the sudden deaths of Taylor Winthrop, beloved government official, and his entire immediate family all within a year are tragic coincidences. Her celebrity wrought by her field work covering war-torn Sarajevo gives her the clout and rather hard to swallow access to investigate despite being the only one whose curious.

Sheldon's propensity to jump in and out of scenes is somewhat annoying, and made it difficult at first to understand why Evans seemed to be able to get just about any meeting she wanted. I just didn't buy that a war correspondent would gain that much celebrity. It is pushed to its limit when a crush of autograph seekers allows her to escape one dangerous scenario.

The dialogue between characters on a personal level was absolutely horrendous most of the time. Much of it surrounded the young boy who Evans "rescued" after he was orphaned by the war in Sarajevo, which eventually became a plot line we could have lived without. Inner thoughts also gave me that feeling in the pit of my stomach that told me I was happy not to have written a particular line. They simply rarely, if ever, added anything, and often gave an awe-shucks feeling, which is never a good thing.

Ultimately, plot carries the book as was no doubt intended. You must suspend believability, but its worth it. I read the last 100 pages in a rush to see what happens. Overall, I give this a middle-of-the-road-nodding-toward-good read it for fun while looking for something better.

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