03 April 2017

2017 Books: Battlefield Earth by L. Ron Hubbard

This book is...not great.

I'll be honest: I received an email asking if I'd accept a free copy for a review. I'm more than happy to report that the edition itself is a fine book! I love the cover art, the typeface is fantastic, it's well-edited and constructed! As Tim Gunn has said about clothing at times, "If that's the look you were going for, congratulations: you nailed it."

What makes this even more strange is that the story itself is not terrible. Not terrible at all - actually, pretty good! The idea of an alien civilization conquering Earth and enslaving humanity for 1,000 years has a lot of potential! Some of the story is genuinely intriguing! I would not have invested 3 months in occasionally forcing my way through a book that was 100% terrible! I'm no animal!

The problem, as you may have guessed, is the writing itself. Terrible! L. Ron Hubbard never met an exclamation he didn't like, and he used them all the time! Interjections! A weird pre-occupation with Scotland! Inexplicable plot holes! More exclamations!

So, here's my review: the book itself is well constructed, giving detailed, caring treatment to a novel that may not be worth it.

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