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Keith Latch: Bestseller

Edward G.

Bestseller by Keith Latch (Broken Mind Publications, Kindle Edition, July 2011) is the story of Rob Caulder, a wannabe writer who after a car accident—and after suffering a severe head injury as a result—wakes up from a coma with the supernatural ability to write mega-best-selling novels without any effort except for the typing of them.

That’s about it.

For 75% of the novel, all we get is the progression of Rob Caulder’s life, which becomes decadent and immoral. But that’s never presented as a particularly bad thing. The author maintains a sympathetic tone for his main character throughout the novel, leaving me to wonder if the author actually sees any problem in Rob’s actions.

Even though it’s billed as a horror story, the novel doesn’t become a “horror” story until about the last 25% of the book. However, in the last 25%, the horror merely becomes a contrived mess of god-like characters who do battle for no apparent reason, and one of the god-like characters is then revealed to be the father of Rob Caulder, again, for no apparent reason.

By the end of the book, the plot has lost all logical connections with any semblance of a story. New characters are being introduced even in the last 20% of it. The book, in fact, becomes like an Ed Wood B-horror movie. If it were possible to see the walls of the set in a novel shaking and falling down during the experience of it, that’s what you’d get. The only thing missing is Bela Lugosi and Glen/Glenda.

Okay, enough of the praise. Now it’s time to critique this novel.

Bestseller is unedited; there’s no other way to put it. The entire text is rife with spelling and grammar errors from beginning to end. At one point he spells the word “prima donna” as “pri Madonna.” There’s even an obvious section cut and pasted from Wikipedia in the middle of the text near the end where the author had apparently been looking up information on North Dakota. I’ve never seen anything like this, even from bad authors.

Normally I wouldn’t critique such a novel, but in this case the author is not an inexperienced new novelist. He has fourteen novels listed on Amazon, as well as his own author’s page. In my opinion, to put out such a work and take people’s money for it is disingenuous at best and fraud at worst, especially when the only other rating on Amazon is a five-star rating.

All I feel at the end of this novel is disrespect: disrespect for an author and publisher who would put out such a work, and disrespected personally as a reader who laid out his hard-earned money on a book the author couldn’t even bother to edit. The only good thing about the book is the cover. I’d applaud the artist, but Latch doesn’t credit the cover artist in the front matter of the Kindle edition.

Some people like Ed Wood movies. Perhaps some people will like Bestseller. I am not one of those people.