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North from Calcutta: 11/03/09

I read through ten reviews (see below) of 0981945406?North From Calcutta by Duane Evans before beginning my own review. All except for the one on Business World, an Indian site, were positive. While I am also giving North From Calcutta a negative review, my reasons are different.

The positive reviews site a fast paced plot, realistic dialogue and a unique plot. I must have been reading a different book because the plot for me crawled, the dialogue seemed wooden and written with an American ear and the plot while perhaps set in a part of the world not recently covered by espionage stories, isn't unique. Sure, there are nuclear weapons involved this time but otherwise it wasn't much different than the underlying plot of Kim

More than anything, though, it was the narration (the how the story is told) instead of the narrative (the actual events in the plot) that made me put the book aside. Every page was filled with repetitive phrases to the point I wanted a red pen to edit on the fly. The action scenes didn't fare any better, being told in the passive voice and the subjunctive tense. Action scenes need action verbs. Short sentences and phrases. The rhythm of the words should match or mimic what's happening in the story. It doesn't in this book. Instead, the action scenes read like a book report, and a boring one at that.

I received a copy of the book for review. I have since released it through Bookcrossing.

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