The Looking Glass
by Richard Paul Evans, historical (2002)
Pocket, $6.99, ISBN 0-7434-3099-9

Richard Paul Evans, bless his heart, does a lot of good things with his charity groups and all. If his fans find inspiration in his lifeless, dull, and preachy sermons masquerading as "fiction", good for them. If you prefer "he lays into her" instead of "he bangs her brains out", check this one out. Or not. (Yes, I don't care.) The Looking Glass is very readable, if you can overlook the choppy writing and annoying leap of (very short) chapters to (very short) chapters.

This story is about a man who has lost his faith. Or supposed to be, I think, because apart from the usual "my wife's dead so I'll never believe in Him again" thing, mid-1800s hero Hunter Bell is having a whale of a time teaching Chinese immigrants the Way of Life, making every woman he meets falls in love with him (Mr Evans, I know you are a preacher/speaker, but really, rein in that Marty Sue of yours, please), and rescuing poor Irish woman Quaye, in between playing a martyr (wrongly accused of murder - ooh!).

This is a story where women always break down and sob on the hero's manly shoulders, so grateful that Hunter even looks at them, much less pay attention to them. This is a story where the hero is so perfect, so manly, so righteous, so... so... BORING.

But at least it doesn't get on my nerves. And from authors like Richard Paul Evans, this book is like the Pulitzer prizewinner of all those "read our books, women, and be grateful that men have penises" crappy authors' swill out there. And because of that, hey, I guess it's cool. Plus, I'm missing Hunter Ellis from Survivor Marquesas already. Yes, I'm shallow - what, you actually expect me to reflect on a Richard Paul Evans book? Oh, please.

Want to hear me talk about how much I hate that Blake and Paige team in The Amazing Race 2? Or how the Gutsy Grannies are like accidents waiting to happen, I don't know whether to giggle in shocked daze or close my eyes and not watch them stumble their way through? (If they win, well, I'll really believe that miracles can happen.) How about Simon Baker? Michael Weatherly? Or Hugh Jackman?

Guess not. Heh.

Rating: 60

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