Back in March when my mother asked me what I wanted for my birthday I went onto http://chapters.indigo.ca and into the fiction section to see what I might like.
I initially gravitated to the new Chuck Klosterman book. His first piece of fiction. I had read a few of his books before (collections of essays, mostly true stories, and anecdotes) and read him online from time-to-time so I added that to my wish list (it’s called “Downtown Owl“, and I liked it).
Then, I started looking for crime novels, heist books, and other assorted who done it types. In the new release section was a Don Delillo book that claimed to be about a filmmaker and a U.S. Government inside-the-war room fellow. In grade eleven I read this book “White Noise” by Don Delillo. All I can tell you about it today is that I think it ended with the main character in a grocery store but I vaguely remember liking it. I put his new one on my wish list as well. It was titled “Point Omega“.
It’s not just that it was a slow moving book. It never really got started. It was only a hundred or so pages, but honestly it could have done with another hundred more just so that the really good story lines actually had time to develop.
In my non-expert opinion it was just poorly written, and I can’t even begin to describe how much I now loathe the comma. This is what this awful book has done to me. I can’t even look at a comma now without feeling sick to my stomach.
It began with sentences with so many commas I could barely keep track, kept with that theme for a while, continued to overuse them, and finished, finally, with a few pages of disjointed thoughts, separated, of course, by many commas, presumably to promote something I can only describe as “punctuation epilepsy”.
The only advice I can give is to avoid reading this book. That, and Don Delillo should read “Eats, Shoots & Leaves” by Lynn Truss and pay careful attention to the chapter on the comma (assuming for a minute that a hugely successful author of dozens of novels, short stories and plays can take advice from a blathering blog hack like myself).