Review: A World I Never Made

A World I Never Made
A World I Never Made by James LePore
My rating: 1 of 5 stars

A World I Never Made is ostensibly a story about a father and daughter finding each other in the wake of the new age of terrorism. Pat Nolan flies to France to identify the body of his daughter, Megan, only to discover that she faked her suicide. He teams up with a female policeofficer to track down the real Megan, while a parallel narrative taking place a year earlier slowly unveils how Megan found herself in such a desperate situation.

The description is much more entertaining than the book itself. I found myself slugging through it in the beginning, and about halfway through, I found I was actually starting to hate this book. I believe the reason I resorted to giving it one star was because I forced myself to finish it after spending an entire week on it, and as a result, I actually started to resent this book.

Whether or not it’s simply a matter of the format, the ebook edition is riddled with typos. I have other books on my Nook that suffer from similar problems, but most of those books were published before the 1920s. I’m starting to believe that in order to create an e-version of any book, one must first intersperse it with typos. At least one every ten pages is apparently the prerequisite.

The dialogue is unimaginative and far too frequent. At some points it felt like the author had originally wanted to write a screenplay but decided on a novel at the last minute. The character of Catherine Laurence only seems to have been included in the novel to serve as a romantic interest for the protagonist and the romance does not seem to add anything to the story at all. If it had been removed, it would have been a touching story about a man searching for his daughter. As a result, instead, we have a story about a man searching for his daughter with a woman he has arbitrarily decided is the love of his life despite the fact that they have little interaction with each other before making this decision. The plot seems to have been conceived in post 9-11 fear, under the impression that all Arabs are terrorists, the French must be in league with them since they did not immediately join our side in the war (think Freedom Fries mentality here), all Romas are scheming bastards who seem to only be in the story to be killed off, and all Americans are well-built, sensitive, but with a give them hell attitude. The characters are so full of cliché that it’s absolutely impossible to take any of them seriously. The female writer who writes sex tip articles and makes her way around Europe by sleeping with wealthy men has Daddy issues? Please.

It’s hard to find anything original about this novel and even more difficult to find something to like about it. Perhaps it would have worked well as a summer blockbuster, but as a novel, it failed to impress.

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