Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Execrable dialogue of the week

I admit it. Just as I have a weakness for big, dumb movies (The Day After Tomorrow, National Treasure), I also have a weakness for big, dumb novels. Case in point: Blasphemy, the latest bad book from Douglas Preston. I have read, and to a certain extent enjoyed, several other bad books by Mr. Preston, but his latest one is unusually lame.

The really bad dialogue appears on page 160. Wyman Ford is a new member of a team of scientists who have built and are trying to run a supercomputer. One of the team members has just told him that there's a small possibility that running the computer at 100% power might create a black hole that could sink to the earth's core and swallow matter until the earth is destroyed. Kate, another team member, tells him not to worry.

Ford lowered his voice. "Kate . . . Don't you think even the smallest possibility is too high? We're talking about the destruction of the earth."

"You can't shut down science on outlandish possibilities."

"Don't you care?"

Kate flared up. "Damn it, Wyman, of course I care. I live on this planet, too."


Will said...

That reminds me of the 1935 film The Crusades, where the princess says to Richard The Lionhearted:

"You just gotta save Christianity, Richard! You gotta!"

Caveman said...

I'm such a sucker for hack dialogue.
Thats why I'm a fan of 1940's scifi movies and books by half-literate media darlings.