"In cooking, as in all the arts, simplicity is a sign of perfection." - Curnonsky

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Mind Catcher by John Darnton

This is the first John Darnton book I have read but, unfortunately, I am not motivated to try his others after stumbling through this slow-moving and less than original novel. I found the book somewhat boring up until when, and I do not think I am giving anything away here, the computer sends its first message (those who have read it will understand).

The plot is quite simple: an evil doctor believes he can capture the "soul" of a person and keep it alive even if the body dies. Not overly original but if told right, it could be a really fun read. Yet the avenue to get to the substance of the story is somewhat winding and the book feels almost padded for length. I thought it could have been about 100 pages shorter.

The biggest thing that irks me is how this book seems to flip between genres. One minute it's a ghost story, then a medical thriller, then a science fiction novel, and closes out with a climax right out of the movie "Flatliners." What kept me reading was the father-son story but otherwise I barely made it through the novel. I was also disappointed the ending did not fully resolve the elongated story that preceded it.

I guess there are two types of books for someone like me who reads at night; those that keep you up at night and those that help you fall asleep. I would put "Mind Catcher" in the latter group.

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