The Book Catapult

117 Days of James Patterson – Day Sixty-Four

Day 64, Chapter 64
Normally the super-short chapters in this book – the ones that barely cover two pieces of paper – have at least a cohesion and a completeness to them, where there is a defined arc to the plot, even if it’s just barely enough to justify a chapter break.  Sort of.  But Chapter 64….  There is no way that a scene of a topless woman driving a Chevy Impala down Lombard Street in San Francisco needs to be a separate chapter.

…I was stopping at every cross street, hunching my shoulders, praying that no one would notice a bare-breasted woman heading down one of the most scenic drives in the nation.

That’s it.  She heads from Lombard to the Golden Gate Bridge and the chapter ends.  Why the break?  This may be the shortest chapter yet, made all the more annoying by the complete lack of plot or purpose.  The physical margin settings on each chapter are already absurd: the first line always starts 4.25″ below the top of the page, the side margins are 7/8ths of an inch, and the bottom margins are 1 5/8″.  This chapter’s second page ends 2 1/4″ above the bottom of the page, leaving just 5 3/4″ of words on the page.  Go measure a real book and you’ll see how ridiculous this is.  It’s like an Easy Reader chapter book.  How long would this book be without all the white space and 300 word chapters?  (If anyone wants to tackle that project, be my guest – I’d love to know the answer, but there’s no way I’m going there.)

There were a few nice lines worth noting, however.

How could they find me when I was driving an old green Impala?

Would it be easier if you were driving something else?  Anything else?  Your co-workers still screwed up and lost you – what difference does it make what type of car you’re in?  Hell, you’re not wearing any clothes – eventually, someone’s going to notice. 

I’ll admit it. For an irrational blazing moment, I got mad.

It took this long for her to express anger over the situation?  Need I remind you, she is naked from the waist up!?

The Lipstick Killer had stopped joking and was all business as I joined the high-speed river of traffic heading across the bridge. The needle on the gas gauge was hovering over the E.

“We need to fill up the tank,” I said. 

Seriously?  You want to stop at a gas station and fill the gas tank?  You are naked.  Would this be a problem?  Do you really care if the car runs out of gas? 

I’m pretty sure that this post is longer than the chapter itself now – I definitely spent more time writing mine than he did his.  Bah!  I’m out of here.
Go to Day 65.

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3 comments on “117 Days of James Patterson – Day Sixty-Four

  1. Amy
    July 2, 2010

    I really can't even describe the level of annoyance that I get reading the excerpts that you include. I think I've said it before, but you definitely deserve a medal for reading this and posting like you are. You are seriously doing the rest of us a huge favor by highlighting just how revolting and horrible these books are.

    On to this chapter though. What I really don't get (besides her only just getting angry for a moment, and wanting to get gas) is WHY doesn't she want to be pulled over? Wouldn't she WANT to get a ticket? That would mean being intercepted. A chance for her to get more cops tailing her to the drop off? Really though. Common sense, no?

  2. Nate
    July 14, 2010

    One page for each exposed breast.

  3. aaryn b.
    July 17, 2010

    You know, I've been thinking about this. A lot. Mulling it over. Percolating on it. And here's what I've come to: It's San Francisco. Is a bare-breasted woman in a green Chevy Impala on Lombard Street really all that outrageous?

    Seems like everyday stuff to me.

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This entry was posted on July 2, 2010 by in 117 Days of James Patterson.
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