A Walk to Remember by Nicholas Sparks: D

From the back cover:
Class of ’59 high school senior Landon Carter spends his time trying to stay out of trouble in the small town of Beaufort, North Carolina. The last person he’d ever fall for is quiet Jamie Sullivan, the Baptist minister’s daughter. But when he waits too long to get a date for the homecoming dance, she’s the only one left to ask. While his friends make jokes about the unlikely couple, he decides this will be their first and last date.

But Jamie has a way of shaking up his plans, and Landon’s life goes down a path he never dreamed possible.

This was my first book by Nicholas Sparks, and it will be my last. I was rolling my eyes so strenuously on page xi of the Prologue that I thought I was going to hurt something. Things were a bit better once the story got underway, but I never laughed or cried, as the Prologue informed me that I would. Yes, Jamie has a secret. And yes, it’s completely obvious within the first fifty pages. Was I supposed to be stunned by the big reveal later on?

Mostly, this is the tale of TypicalTeen and how he is ashamed to be seen publicly with ReligiousGirl until ReligiousGirl appears in a play with her hair down and TypicalTeen suddenly realizes that she’s pretty and that he’s in love with her. ReligiousGirl carries her Bible everywhere, saves wounded animals, volunteers with orphans, never has a harsh word for anyone, and is unbelievably socially obtuse. TypicalTeen engages in such behavior as slacking in class, hanging out at the diner with the stereotypes he’s been given for friends, eating boiled peanuts in graveyards, and experiencing guilt for all the times he mocked ReligiousGirl and her father. This was all bland and cardboard, and utterly failed to elicit any emotion from me at all.

The laughably bad bits, however, are when TypicalTeen and ReligiousGirl start reading the Bible together. It is not at all my intent to mock religion; I simply take exception with the writing here. These passages gave off the vibe of someone writing about something they don’t know. It’s like someone saying, “And we sat together and watched a lot of Star Trek. And sometimes when we were watching Star Trek we would ask each other what we thought about that episode of Star Trek and what Star Trek really meant.” Dude couldn’t do any research?

To make this all worse, the narrator on the audiobook (Frank Muller) read in the most pretentious way imaginable. The final word of every sentence was elongated and very nearly whispered. It was so bad I had to play it for my cubicle mate so we could mock it.

Concluding on a completely random note, A Walk to Remember mentions hush puppies no fewer than three times. Thanks for sticking me with a craving, CrappyWriter.

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  1. Ha ha ha ha.

    I haven’t read any books by him and have no intentions of doing so, but _The Notebook_ was a pretty good movie. Walk to Remember, of course, starred Mandy Moore and a dude from ER, so was obviously doomed from the start. Not that I have seen it.

    I probably wouldn’t have chosen this one as the first one of his books to read, were I going to undertake him. I never see people taking it out at the library.

  2. I can’t even remember how I ended up with this. I think it was one of the days I walked to the library and needed /something/ to check out in order to feel it had been worthwhile and this was what I came up with.

  3. I had two friends who work at a bookstore that vowed to read the galley of Sparks latest book since neither had read anything by him. Apparently it was so bad it made both of them lose their will to live. They say it’s about 200 pages of a dinner conversation where bad manners and/or virginity is discussed and nothing else happens. Apparently, this isn’t a new thing for him, and I was laughing when you were describing the bible conversation. Good to know I haven’t been missing anything by giving his books a pass.

    Of course, never having read anything by him I don’t want to judge too harshly, but it’s hard not to.

  4. At the very least, bad books are good for providing the chance to write snarky reviews! 🙂


  1. […] nicholas sparks writes bad books No argument here! […]

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