Saturday, October 3, 2009

Review: Slammer by Allan Guthrie

Title: Slammer
Author: Allan Guthrie
Copyright: 2009
Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
ISBN: 0151012954


Definitely Not A "Slammer" Dunk - 2 stars - a book review

I can see the appeal of this book and I can see how some people would like it; however, I hardly enjoyed it at all. The premise is solid, but underdeveloped. The terrorizing from the inmates to the guard could have been so much greater and the story would have been more of a "throat grabber" had there been more favors, more threats, and... well... more terrorizing. The main character, Glass, is only put in two situations before his life spirals out of control (and the story spirals out of control, I might add). There are parts of the story that are grotesque, but I felt it was more for shock value and could not really buy into those actions.

On top of all that, there seems to be random flashbacks that did not seem to fit in the story for any reason, providing seemingly insignificant details about the characters. Maybe they were significant; but if so, it was poorly executed. The ending was also so unsatisfying and disappointing.

My other concerns with Slammer is that there is no writing in the book above a sixth grade reading level. The writing was pretty juvenile and the dialogue was equally juvenile. It is hard to take a dark and gritty story seriously if there are no words over two syllables.

Overall, I say if the premise of the story strikes your fancy, go for it. Given that it is such an easy and quick read it won't take too much time, and you might enjoy it. In my opinion, there are far better books in this category that are executed better and ten times as engaging, with stronger characters; like Fight Club by Chuck Palahniuk and each of the books in the Caught Stealing trilogy by Charlie Huston.

Good reading,

Plants and Books

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