Monday, January 19, 2009

'High Profile' by Robert B. Parker on audio

I am one of those true geeks who prefer listening to books instead of music. When a few years back I discovered that there actually were books on audio, it was a magical moment for me. I have enjoyed audiobooks ever since. Until I listened to High Profile. I seriously had my 'doubting Thomas' moments then.

The book is a thriller. The premise is interesting enough. I did pick this one out of many after all. A high profile TV personality is murdered together with his lover, who was pregnant with the guy's child. Jesse, a chief of police in Paradise, MA is investigating the murder while dealing with his personal problems. He drinks too much, cannot let go of his promiscuous ex-wife and is involved with another woman, who in turn still loves her ex. Considering that Mr. Parker is among the bestselling authors on the market, one would think the book would be a quick, easy and interesting read (or listen?). The problem is, Parker apparently had some serious issues with how to write a good dialogue. And a bad dialogue turns into a nightmarish one when you actually have to listen to it. To give you an example of how it went throughout the whole book I will try to imitate a little of it:

'I checked on that guy you asked me about.' - Molly said

'What did you find?' - Jesse said

''Quite a few interesting facts.' - Molly said

'Like what?' - Jesse said

' Like he used to be married to our suspect.' - Molly said

'Really?' - Jesse said


Notice the 'said' word and you'll know what I mean. And it went on and on and on...and I thought it would never end. I was ready to drill screws into my brain if I heard another 'said'. For the first time in a very long time I was looking forward to descriptive passages because the dialogue was pure torture.

I know that listening to an audiobook is a very different experience from reading one and 'High Profile' is just one of the books that should never have been recorded. Unfortunately, I don't think I'll even pick any of Parker's books to read.