Monday, April 21, 2014

Review of ‘IN A CREAM PACKARD’ by Edward R Hackemer

A review copy was provided by the author in return for an honest review. I read this book over the weekend, and I must admit that I don’t know what to make of it. The writing is pleasant and attractive, without being truly strong. It does hold, however, an undeniable appeal. Some people become authors because they have an innate ability to write fluidly and to draw the reader in with the power of their words. But there are so many other criteria that turn a book into a good read, and this particular novel seems to lack quite a few.
In a few words, ‘In A Cream Packard’ is the story of a newlywed couple who make their way across the country to their home in Florida. The book starts with the description of how the couple met, fell in love and got married.  That takes about half the book, while the rest compiles their journey.
I would push it far too much if I said that their journey is an adventure. There was simply nothing that made my heart jump in excitement, no dramatic twist or turn. The entire atmosphere was so relaxed, I felt all along that I was watching a black and white movie. One that at the time of its release probably got some hearts pumping, but that makes us roll our eyes nowadays, as we wonder what on earth made it so dramatic back then in the viewers’ eyes.
I had a hard time deciding the proper audience for this novel. Clearly, it will not appeal to young people, not even to women in their 50s. I could probably imagine a granny reading this book and marveling at the sweet, yet ordinary love story.
There were a couple of elements that kept bothering me all along, and I hope that the author will consider reviewing them in his future writings. The most bothersome is the fact that the author kept jumping from one character’s mind to another. Very few writers ever managed to do so without becoming annoying. It is an art that is very difficult to master, and more often than not it is a double-edged sword. The other thing that was distracting was the excessive description of things and places that had no importance whatsoever in the book. I must admit that Edward described them beautifully, but it was truly unnecessary. They distracted me so much from the main story, that I felt awfully frustrated and began to skip entire paragraphs.
On the bright side, this book is laid-back and relaxing, and it can be a great read for someone who wants to experience the atmosphere of the 50s. Don’t expect a lot of romance in it though, there’s nothing steamy or intense.
As much as I find that this novel may never attract a wide audience, I appreciate the writing, the authenticity of the time period described therein, its classic, chaste romanticism and its resemblance to old, peaceful movies that we all need every now and then to take our mind away from a life that looks too much like a fast train.
Edward’s novel can be purchased on Amazon in both hard copy and Ebook format. Click HERE to access the purchase link.


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