The Daily Monocle

Critical book reviews from a literary skeptic.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Rivers of Gold by Adam Dunn

Posted by J. P. Wickwire

In the year 2013, New York City has plunged into a state of ruin. The city has fallen from its former heights, and now consists of nothing but the seedy underbelly of the world. And here, in the midst of the fashion, the lights, and the drugs, is Sixto Santiago, a taxi-driver/fashion photographer extraordinaire.


In this world, the men who drive taxi cabs are New York's law enforcement core. They're also your drug dealers—your heartbreakers—and anything else you could possibly imagine.

Rivers of Gold by Adam Dunn presents and exciting and original premise. Who wouldn't want to read about a decrepit New York—where ordinary citizens play the ultimate anti-heroes. Unfortunately, I couldn't get past the first 100 pages, because of one, simple problem:

Too much sexual content.

At the most basic level, good books are a balance of necessary elements. It's up to the author to decide what those elements are. If the author tips the scale in any one direction, they end up with a caricature of a story that could've easily been avoided with the removal of just a few things.

The thing that killed Rivers of Gold for me was the gratuitous graphic sex. As stated in my blog policy, I will always read 100 pages of the books I receive for review. However, I had a difficult time even reading that much.

I feel like if I could've spent more time with Rivers of Gold, and been able to really explore it's world, I would've been able to lose myself completely in the story. Dunn has developed a complicated world for his readers, one that is worthy of exploration. But we as readers need to see it through a different lens. I found this book confusing, muddled, and far too occupied with pleasures of the flesh. I could understand a scene or two, but when I find myself cringing on nearly every page, I know it's time to put the book down.

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