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Glorious infodumps

The most exciting parts of the whole not-very-good novel I recently finished (see "telegram" and "magazines in chemists") were the info-dumps. They were gloriously, fantastically mismatched to their scenes, in such a well-intentioned way, that I kept hoping for more of them. (I sort of wish there had been far more of them than there were.)

They had their flaws, such as when the heroine, musing on how very old a barn is, observes that "This barn was a century old before most Europeans even entertained the idea of the world being round and land existing across the ocean to the west."

But here's my favorite. The heroine and hero are succumbing to their passionate attraction/lust for each other. They're solving a mystery together. It's around midnight and they're alone together. And he invites her back to his rooms to read some journals, part of the investigation. It's the first time that she's been in that wing of his excessively (and impractically) large house. She is astonished at the modernness of this wing of the manor.

(In case you'd forgotten, please do remember that they are succumbing to their passionate attraction to each other. You might have forgotten.)

And he says, "Yes, this is part of the remodeling my father did. To function efficiently in today's economic climate, an estate needs to be modern in both its management thinking and techniques as well as its offices. This estate is comparable to a combination large farm and large ranch in the States as we raise both crops and livestock. So, this is the heart of the business end where we have the computers and machines along with other devices necessary to a highly diversified working estate. And then there are the other business functions that do not relate to the day-to-day running of the estate such as the investments, rental properties and other holdings."

Comments

owlfish
Sep. 6th, 2011 02:24 pm (UTC)
I'm willing! I was being coy about the title so as not to detract from the points of the earlier posts (plus, not necessarily assuming anyone else had read it), but now I've given you actual excerpts.

Shawna Delacorte, The Sedgwick Curse.

It was not unreadable - I read it - but rather quickly I was reading in hopes of blatant flaws (rather than mere repetitiveness) and only a vague curiosity about how the plot turned out. I've given you the worst of the flaws of setting the novel in England, however. The rest of flaws of flat characterization and a tendency to break up the flow of any events which happened with a (metaphorical) tin ear for mood. Almost any time someone is murdered (by persons unknown), the hero feels fantastic because he has, through the truth of stressful circumstances, established greater closeness with the heroine.

There were other moments of interest though. At one point, the hero feels 10x better than he had. A few pages later, he feels 100x better, but it is not explained if this is 100x better than before, or only 10x better than when he previously felt 10x better. I care about the mathematics of relative improvement, apparently.
fjm
Sep. 6th, 2011 11:08 pm (UTC)
Have you read In the Georgian Household? She reckons Mr Darcy is doing just this mind of thing in his courtship of Elizabeth Bennet and points to lots of courtship letters that basically boil down to : I'm secure and can manage my future.
owlfish
Sep. 7th, 2011 01:42 pm (UTC)
No, haven't read it. At least, not yet.

I have every sympathy with the content of what's being conveyed here. it's the style which seems entirely out of place. And if the hero is just prone to talking that way about his property regardless of context, it would have helped to, at *some* point in the novel, show him using that tone of discourse in the context of estate management, But we never actually see him working.