Monday, March 24, 2014

Reflections: The Rising Tide

Jeff Shaara can write; I know he can.  Gods and Generals was a great book.  I also know now that he can' write, not very well at least.  The Rising Tide, the first in a series of historical novels set during World War 2, is so bland and uninteresting it's not worth reading.

There's a part of me that believes this book was written by a ghost-writer and the publisher simply slapped Jeff Shaara's name on it.  Shaara is an important name in the historical novel genre because Michael Shaara, Jeff's father, won a Pulitzer Prize for The Killer AngelsThe Rising Tide feels so disinctly different from Gods and Generals it's hard to believe they were written by the same person.  (I've had similar feelings when reading some of Leon Uris's books). 

The Rising Tide's narrative structure is an absolute mess.  Shaara introduces us to some historical characters, allows the reader to begin to understand them, and then never returns to them throughout the duration of the book.  The dialogue between the characters feels the same on every page.  There is nothing terribly creative about Shaara's insight into any of the several fascinating historical personalities that were key players during this instrumental and pivotal time.  It's wasted material.  I often thought about the excellent film Patton and how much I wished this book could have been more like it.  But it's just not. 

The Rising Tide is not worth reading.  There are plenty more historical novels to enjoy.  Although Jeff Shaara has written at least one good book, Gods and Generals, The Rising Tide was so poor, in my opinion, I don't have much reason to ever go back to his other works. 

Other Topics of Interest:
Reflections: Gods and Generals
Writing History I can't Forget: Leon Uris

1 comment:

  1. Are we sure he wrote it? Lots of writers have ghost writers these days.