Tuesday, December 29, 2009

On the Seventh Day of Christmas: The Christmas Sweater

Title: The Christmas Sweater
Author: Glenn Beck
Christmas Cheer Rating: 0

I think this may be the lowest rating I’ve given a book since I started reviewing books. First, let me say I didn’t realize the author was the ultra-conservative and sometimes controversial commentator from FOX news. I only picked up the book because it was available at the library and it was being advertised on CBD (funny since Beck is a baptized Mormon).

The Christmas Sweater is basically a fictionalized account of Beck’s life. Eddie, the main character wants a bike for Christmas. It is his first Christmas after a great tragedy has hit his family. Instead of getting a bike, he gets a sweater knitted by his mother. Another tragedy hits and Eddie struggles with his understanding of what’s really important.

The problem with this book is that not completely horrible. I loved the way Beck portrayed Eddie’s grandfather and his shenanigans. Unfortunately, this secondary character wasn’t enough to keep me interested. All the other characters were forgettable or annoying (especially when it came to Eddie). I don’t think it’s wise to have such an irritating main character.

Despite all this, characterization wasn’t my major problem with this novel. It was the plot. Beck does something in this book that annoys me to no end and is grounds for me to put authors on the “Do Not Buy” list.


The whole book is a dream. I felt like I’d invested several days worth of reading for nothing. I think that is the worse plot device any author can use in a book, second to something supernatural like an angel tying up all the plots loose ends (deus ex machina). I feel cheated and Beck gave no hint that all this was a dream. And the dream itself required that I suspend belief more often than not.

Occasionally, I come across a book that makes me wonder how it earned a place on best seller lists. This is one of them. If Glenn Beck can write a book like this and achieve “success”, then there is great hope for my writing career.

No comments: