Monday, October 21, 2013

The Night Ranger by Alex Berenson

Book:  The Night Ranger

Author:  Alex Berenson

Grade:   D+

Recommended To:  I don't know.  I didn't really like this book, but you might if you like flat objectified female characters and racist speech patterns. 

The Night Ranger is Alex Berenson's seventh John Wells book.  You can tell that Berenson cranks out two books a year in this series because The Night Ranger needed more substance, a good edit, and some help from a female perspective to make it a passable read.  I just bought it because it was two dollars and since that's the price of a Candy Crush Candy Hammer, it seemed worth it at 6:00 AM, which is when I make all of my kindle daily deal purchases.

I also used to follow Alex Berenson on Facebook but I deleted him after he said he didn't like the finale of Breaking Bad. Um, hello?  The most perfect finale of all finales?  I can't deal with that mojo on my facebook feed, so he got deleted.  I like to think that his poor and inaccurate opinion about Walt and my favorite series of all time did not have an effect on my review of this book, but it probably did.

After searching my own blog, it appears that I've reviewed quite a few Wells novels herehere, and here.  They all seem to have the same theme, a quick and dirty read that should be over as fast as possible.  These reviews are all from two years ago and some of the exact things I was going to write in this review, I've already written, so now I have to come up with something original, unlike Berenson who uses the same formula over and over to write crap.

In this book four volunteers are kidnapped in Africa apparently through some conspiracy with the lead of the aid agency to sell more of his books.  If this seems like a poor explanation, it is, because it is never explained.  Never.

Berenson's books rarely have strong female characters and this book was no exception.   One of the point of view characters is basically just described as "beautiful" and "slutty" and "dumb."  She has no other characteristics despite the fact that she is volunteering for three months in Africa, has family that cares about her, and has graduated college.  The other female lead (if you can even call it a lead) is a woman who is described just as ugly, mean, and Irish.  I will leave that to you to figure out how absolutely ridiculous it is that the leader of the African refugee camp for this particular charity has no other characteristics except that she is ugly and mean. Or why her appearance matters AT ALL. 

There are many Somali and Kenyan characters in this book because it takes place in Kenya and Somalia.  These characters frequently have conversations in this dumbed down patois that makes it sound like they are struggling third graders learning English for the first time.  Are you kidding me?  Wouldn't these people be fluent in their native language, SOMALI, which is what they would be speaking in SOMALIA?  Christ.  I don't know why it is that everyone who isn't American is automatically stupid and cannot speak in full sentences.  It is unrealistic, it is asinine, and it is offensive.  I just changed the grade from a C to a D+ because now I'm mad all over again about this shit.

Okay, that's all I have to say about this except if my 6:00 AM self decides to buy another Alex Berenson book for cheap, I hope my Noon self blocks the Amazon transaction.

Happy Reading.

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