Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Sea Foam And B.S.

One of the things that attract me to the gothic romances is the fact a number of them read like loony movies. Villians, heroes, damsels, all sorts of crap being thrown at you. Fun stuff.

Today's choice is like a cheese-ball flick straight out of the Fifties, when they could still churn out movies on a nickel budget and expect a reasonable return on the investment. The Hungry Sea is not only structured like a Grade-Z flick, but it is written like one as well. I mean, the copyright is for Arcadia House, which was publishing firm, so in spite of the fact Leslie Ames has her name on the cover, it is a good bet that this was a piece of fluff ground out by an in-house writer to fill the backstock for that month. (Holy crap, what the hell did I just write? Don't trust my opinions; I'm just pulling this stuff out of my butt.)

The story, well, it's a mess. Ann runs away from a bad situation to start fresh by working with a doctor to compile his notes into a book. Before she can even get to the doctor's house, she ends up in a bar where she is warned by a handsome stranger (God, where are these guys when I go into a bar?) that working with the doctor is sure to cause problems. Well, of course the doctor is creepy, like one of the freaky scientists from Jonny Quest. And then there is the weird female assistant and the pale young girl who clings to the new helper.

The doctor's wife died under unusual circumstances. The handsome stranger turns out to be related to the doctor. Boats crash, the ocean surges, and breasts heave. And let's not forget the weird experiments in the lab. Could our plucky heroine become one of them?

Dig this little paragraph:

"Adele is dead," I interrupted. I explained how she had been gulped by the sea.

Okay. "Gulped"? I'm at a loss for words here, but you can see what I meant about this things is written as cheesy as the the story itself is.

And it just ends. I won't tell you how, in case you find yourself trapped in some Outback shack waiting to be butchered and have only this book to read. But the characters talk you to death to vaguely wrap up the loose ends, and then it stops. Like the writer just decided they had hit the required word count and didn't want to put in that extra effort to actually END the stupid thing.

Needless to say, I loved it. It made me smile for a week, and EVERYBODY got to hear about this during that week. Lost a lot of street cred. Well, I never had any to begin with, but....

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