I’ve never written a review for a book I didn’t finish but Between the Bridge and the River is an integral part of Cannonball Bingo and I still managed to gather together some thoughts that I hope to contribute to this weekend’s Book Club. However I cannot justifiably add it to my end of year book count so hopefully saying I am reviewing “0” books with this review keeps it from raising my total.
I knew Between the Bridge and the River was not going to be the book for me when on just page 18 there were no less than six reference to Frank Sinatra’s cock (which, and I’m no prude, is one of my least favorite words). It seemed like shock value for shock value’s sake and I’m simply not interested. Things managed to go further downhill from there before I finally accepted the reality that I would not, could not, complete this book. I am also not a fan of too many characters, I’m even less of a fan of too many characters none of whom I remotely connect with or enjoy reading about.
Book Club Discussion Question: The story is written in a rather standard, conversational voice and includes repeated phrases and ideas, as well as a bit of the fantastical. How did Ferguson’s debut authorial voice hit you? Was it what you expected from him as an author?
Despite vague memories of The Drew Carey Show and the occasional viral clip from his late night show I didn’t know much about Craig Ferguson or his comedic style prior to this novel. I’d like to say because of this I came into his debut novel with an open mind but the abundance of lackluster reviews made me wary and, in a way, gave me permission not to finish. A few people mentioned that Ferguson’s fiction does not wholly represent the man and that his autobiography is vastly superior to his debut novel. I think a lot of people who write with ease about themselves and find success mining their personal lives for material don’t appreciate how different of a skill writing fiction is. Another example is Jen Lancaster whose memoirs fostered a life long love of the genre in me but whose fiction I cannot bring myself to read anymore. Overall Ferguson’s authorial voice managed to miss every note for me; besides the vulgarity I previously mentioned I also disliked the choppy structure he employed.