A book that is quite bad is Across Five Aprils by Irene Hunt. The book involves the trials and stipulations of a boy who comes of age in the years of the civil war.
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The main problem with the book is its extreme brevity. The total number of pages is under 140, and when you account for that the plot is spread out over 5 years, you realize you will never gain interest into the story. The book enthralls the reader just as much at the climax as it does at the beginning; not at all. When reading this, images of an old man recanting his boyhood will come to light.
The plot of this book is this books main downfall. It in both thin and un-engulfing. There are no scenes that action happens in. The element of suspense could be added by putting a few pages in-between the letters from a brother in the army, but instead the letters appeared almost next to each other.
To make matters worse the story is told from a first person point of view. Irene Hunt’s abuse of first person is exemplified by that the reader will get a sentence not pertaining to the story, and then get a transitional sentence leading to anther sentence not pertaining to the story, and so on and so forth. It almost seams as if half of the book is transitional sentences.
With all the irrelevant information flooding the reader, it would be expected that important information would at least get a paragraph to themselves. However Irene Hunt never gets over her one sentence a day ration, making it seem almost like an heavily abridged diary.
The already down book is shattered with Irene Hunt’s inability to use imagery to describe the events and the small number scenes. She seems to tell you what happened, in as few sentences as possible. The lack of imagery also contributes the plot’s lack of appeal.
The already mentioned letter’s from the brother in the army are at the edge a believability. They are all one-paragraph letters that sound like quotes from a history textbook about who did what in the battle; even the love letters to the boys sister suffer from this trait.
In conclusion, the book Across Five Aprils is the absolute pinncle of miserable literate. The book is written with the interest of the reader no-were in mind. The book The Red Badge of Courage much more acuitly decribes the feeling of the cival way times then this book, and any reader looking to be informed about the cival war is better of consulting a history textbook.
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