A Bend In The Road
by Nicholas Sparks, contemporary (2001)
Warner, $23.95, ISBN 0-446-52778-5


Ohmigosh, Satan Sparks can actually do a decent drama story! Maybe it's time I start building a giant ark and invite everybody to come onboard to party and orgy because the Great Flood sure has to be coming next.

Of course, the author still harbors the delusion that he can write a romance story. It is when he deviates from the romance formula that A Bend In The Road achieves a semblance of readability. When he's in the romance author mode, he's making the heroine weeping and weeping and weeping some more all over that gnat hero until reading this book is like an hour-long puking session.

Miles Ryan is a Noble Hero who has lost his wife Missy in a hit-and-run accident years ago. I tell you, scratch under Miles' facade and you'll find Marty Sue, the reviled placeholder for the author's wet dreams in his own story. (Marty and Mary Sue are fanfiction stuff. What's fanfiction, you ask? It's stories written by fans of TV shows/movies/books using characters from said show or book. Mostly they're all about slash and romance and cheap gratuitous sex, but there are also many well-plotted, serious, and non-skanky ones that are actually better than the original thing (like some The X-Files fanfiction). Like Mary Sue, the female counterpart, Marty Sue is this irritating main character who is flawless in appearance, perfect, helpful, supertalented, amazing, innocent, and every other main character falls for Marty. Likewise, every villain hates Marty and causes trouble, but supertalented Marty will save the day (and everybody). The plot revolves around Marty and Marty alone. Heck, he is the story. Any stories with Mary and/or Marty Sue = rubbish written by juveniles. Or Nicholas Sparks.)

And Sparks, a big Screw You for gushing that Missy is a perfect woman because she quits her job, stays home, and does the housework. Screw. You.

Anyway, Sarah Miles, our heroine falls for Miles. Why? See Marty Sue above. Sensitive. Honest. Gorgeous. Amazing. Supertalented. Superhero. Captain Cardboard, Wet Cardboard after the dog has done its business on it. Emotional scenes consist mainly of Sarah weeping as she laments how she can never live with Marty Sue here.

Sparks, screw you. Screw. You. You dumb screwdriver tool you.

But then the author makes Marty lose it big time. Marty becomes violent and psychotic. I stand up and go, "Wow! Who steamrollered Satan and put Tarantino in his place?" I want more. I want Psycho Miles on a mad vigilante rampage. When Satan Sparks is not waxing nauseating she-cannot-live-without-him-will-die-die-die-without-him male superiority ass-stinkiness, he can sure write a mad, bad - and dare I say it? - sexy psycho.

Then Sarah weeps again. He's not a psycho! He's hurting! I mean, yes, heaven forbids a man to hurt, right? Sparks? Screw you.

In the end, we are back to the Male Superiority Crap nonsense all over again. By this point, those annoying conservative readers who believe that a good woman should stay at home and tend the home fires and that career women are all bitches or something like that will be in multiple orgasm heaven. That is, if they are allowed to have orgasms. But me, I have only one last thing to say.

Sparks, you are one ugly mother of a screwdriver.

Rating: 54


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