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Corpse Marker

By Chris Boucher

Book review by Brad Schmidt

Several ‘un’-prefixed words remind me again of Corpse Marker. A shame indeed to be so blunt, yet it would be in keeping with the unnecessary, unintelligible and uninteresting novel that is Chris Boucher's latest expulsion. It's so uninteresting at times that it's easy to forget what the novel is about, and especially so several weeks after reading it. Apart from killer robots. Which is droll.

The novel reads like a half-heartedly padded television script, which was probably Boucher's original template. Frankly, it's unacceptable. The few slightly convincing characters are those previously known - the Doctor, Leela, Uvanov, Poul and Toos. It seems to imply somewhat that Leela is only the best-rendered amongst all the basically-shadowy characters because she is a stereotype to begin with, and that is why Boucher is so successful with her.

There's one interesting revelation about the society from which this repetitive scenario evolved - but it's near an end that's far too many pages from the beginning, and that really don't constitute a novel. This plot-twist, influential on the events of both Boucher blood-baths, makes this unimpressed reader wonder whether Corpse Marker would have worked better as a prequel.

The most interesting new offering is probably the novel's ISBN. The audience knows the answers from the beginning, when Poul is menaced by robots again, has plenty of time to resolve the plot oh-so-prophetically before it actually concludes, and can only picture the supporting cast in lame, earthy-toned jerkins with big seventies hair and a tendency to W their R's.

Something an English teacher once told me in relation to a hackneyed piece of work my much-younger self produced seems topical again: three times “and” is two times too many. Not only could Boucher take heed with his syntax, but replace “and” with “Boucher” in that statement and you have my final judgement. [1/5]

This item appeared in TSV 60 (June 2000).

Index nodes: Corpse Marker