Tag: Danielle Steel

#BestsellerCode100: Writer’s Analysis of The Klone and I by Danielle Steel

Let’s take a look at our next novel from The Bestseller Code 100 list, The Klone and I by Danielle Steel, from a writer’s perspective.

This post is likely to contain spoilers.

 

Danielle Steel’s The Klone and I*

(*Amazon Affiliate link)

Summary: When her husband of thirteen years leaves, Stephanie isn’t ready for the dating world. That is, until she meets someone during a spontaneous trip to Paris. Has she finally found her match or more than her match?

This is one of the oldest books on The Bestseller Code challenge list, published in 1998.

Labelled as a high-tech love story, The Klone and I is a mix of humor and romance.

 

Characters

Compared to our previous book by John Sandford, this book has a paucity of characters. The main character is Stephanie. She lives with her two kids, Charlotte and Sam. Her ex-husband Roger and his new wife Helena (Stephanie calls her Miss Bimbo at first), pop into the story when they take the kids. Otherwise, Stephanie spends time with her boyfriend Peter Baker or his bionic clone Paul.

Although Paul’s name is intentionally similar to Peter’s because he is Peter’s clone, the similarity between the two names was confusing at times.

Dialogue

Because the author writes the story in the first person point of view, much of the dialogue is internal. For the first 100 pages or so, the regular dialogue is well-written and witty. Take this example where the dialogue goes back and forth like a tennis ball at a tennis match while the characters discuss playing tennis. Brilliant.

…”we’re playing tennis with him tomorrow.”

“What?” Charlotte shrieked at me as I tucked Sam and the dog in, and she followed me into my bedroom, where I’d almost forgotten she was still sleeping with me. “I hate tennis.”

“You do not. You played all day yesterday.” My point. But only for an instant. She was quicker.

“That was different. That was with kids. Mom, he’s so ancient, he’ll probably have a heart attack and die on the court.” She sounded hopeful.

After 100 pages, the writer’s tone changes with the introduction of the clone.

“I have a million things to do today, and I haven’t finished the paper,” I said sternly, as through that would dissuade him. Ever since Roger left, I had promised myself I would wear makeup every day and keep abreast of the news.

“It’s all the same crap that happens every day, every week,” he assured me unmoved. “People killing each other, people dying, guys making home runs and touchdowns, stock prices going up and down like yo-yos. So what? Who cares?”

By the way, Stephanie’s efforts to improve herself after her husband leaves are mentioned numerous times throughout.

 

Public domain photo via VisualHunt

 

Setting

Most of the book is set in an apartment in New York, with one spontaneous trip to Paris, and one summer vacation at East Hampton. Of those, only Paris sparkles, perhaps because Danielle Steel actually lives there for part of the year.

Discussion/Review

Before this challenge I had never read a Danielle Steel novel, but there’s always a pile of them at the friends of the library used book sales so I assumed she’s popular. On the other hand, the number of 1 and 2 star reviews for this title on GoodReads suggested not many people liked this one. I didn’t know what to think.

The first 100 pages of the novel were enjoyable to me. I read through them quickly, and laughed out loud a few times. It felt like a close BFF sharing the pain of the break up of her marriage and the pitfalls of dating while laughing in the face of adversity. Then the main character, Stephanie, meets a respectable man named Peter Baker in romantic Paris and everything falls into place. It’s a sweet, relatable story so far, but my writer’s mind is waiting for the mid-point reversal (the place where the writer surprises the reader with a twist to the story).

Kaboom! The reversal drops in the title character, a clone named Paul Klone who wears a “one piece leopard spandex jumpsuit” and does flips in bed. The farce starts when Stephanie doesn’t realize that Paul isn’t Peter. From there, the believability flounders to the point where the reader begins to laugh at the author instead of with her. What happened?

Looking into the background of the book, I discovered Danielle Steel’s son Nick Traina died September 20, 1997, the year before The Klone and I came out in 1998.  It’s probably not a coincidence this book isn’t her best.

Have you read The Klone and I by Danielle Steel? We’d love to hear your thoughts.

Join us on social media:

__________________

What are we reading next?

If you ever have questions about what we are reading next or when we’re starting the next discussion, check the 100 Book List tab in the navigation bar at the top of the blog.

The next book is number 84. A Spool of Blue Thread by Anne Tyler (2015) – Discussion begins June 26, 2017
Literary Fiction – nominated for Booker Prize

#BestsellerCode100: A Reader’s Review of The Klone and I by Danielle Steel

The Klone And I, by Danielle Steel, is next up on our 100 Bestsellers List reading challenge.  This is touted as a high-tech love story.

This post does contain spoilers.


(*Amazon Affiliate link)
 

Years and years ago I read several of Danielle Steel’s novels.  I remember enjoying her themes of women struggling to combine career and family and love, trying to have it all.  The women seemed strong and independent, and at the end of the day, the importance of family bonds was always the most important thing.  At least that’s how I remember her novels.  After reading The Klone and I, I have to wonder just how reliable my memory is.

Stephanie, the main character in The Klone and I was a disappointment in many ways. She is indecisive, inattentive, self-centered, and naïve.  I suppose being naïve is not a bad thing, but reading about someone that naïve after the life experiences she had gone through – divorce, raising children – made her unbelievable.  Maybe it was the trust fund that enabled her to go through life without seeming to really commit to life.

And speaking of unbelievable, shall we discuss Paul, the clone?  I had to keep reminding myself that this book was written in 1998 when computers were just beginning to become an integral part of our lives, but still seemed quite magical.  Anything was possible if a computer was involved, including life-like clones.  Paul, though, is so over-the-top that I simply could not buy the whole premise.

I understand why this book made The Bestseller Code’s top 100 list, because it is 100% about relationships, mostly Stephanie and her relationships with her ex-husband, with Peter, and with Paul. Unfortunately, I didn’t like Stephanie.  I didn’t like the dismissive attitude she often had about her children.  I didn’t like how easily she was swayed by the fun and free-wheeling Paul while knowing he wasn’t real and that he was using Peter’s money to buy all the gifts for her.  I found Stephanie to be shallow and self-absorbed. Overall, The Klone and I was a disappointment.

What did you think of The Klone and I?  Did you find Paul believable as a clone?

Related posts:

  1. Book-beginnings, a discussion of the first line of the novel
  2. Roberta’s review from a writer’s perspective

You can also join us on social media:

Do you have suggestions for ways to improve this reading challenge? We’d love to hear them.

__________________

What are we reading next?

If you ever have questions about what we are reading next or when we’re starting the next discussion, check the 100 Book List tab in the navigation bar at the top of the blog.

The next book is number 84. A Spool of Blue Thread by Anne Tyler (2015) – Discussion begins June 26, 2017
Literary Fiction – nominated for Booker Prize

#BestsellerCode100: Number 85. The Klone and I by Danielle Steel

Time to start the discussion of our next novel from The Bestseller Code 100 list, The Klone and I by Danielle Steel.

This post does not contain spoilers.

 

Danielle Steel’s The Klone and I*

(*Amazon Affiliate link)

Summary: When her husband of thirteen years leaves, Stephanie isn’t ready for the dating world. That is, until she meets someone during a spontaneous trip to Paris. Has she finally found her match or more than her match?  This is one of the oldest books on the challenge list, published in 1998.

Have you read The Klone and I by Danielle Steel? Do you think it deserves to be on the list of the 100 best? We’d love to hear your thoughts.

Related posts:

  1. Book-beginnings, a discussion of the first line of the novel
  2. Karen’s review from a reader’s perspective
  3. Roberta’s review from a writer’s perspective

You can also join us on social media:

Do you have suggestions for ways to improve this reading challenge? We’d love to hear them.

Have you written about The Klone and I by Danielle Steel? Feel free to add a link to your review here.

__________________

What are we reading next?

If you ever have questions about what we are reading next or when we’re starting the next discussion, check the 100 Book List tab in the navigation bar at the top of the blog.

The next book is number 84. A Spool of Blue Thread by Anne Tyler (2015) – Discussion begins June 26, 2017
Literary Fiction – nominated for Booker Prize

#BookBeginnings Danielle Steel’s The Klone and I

Today we’re looking forward to starting the next book in The Bestseller Code 100 challenge, The Klone and I by Danielle Steel for Book Beginnings on Fridays.

Book Beginnings is a fun meme hosted by Rose City Reader blog. To participate, share the first sentence or so of a novel you are reading and your thoughts about it. When you are finished, add your URL to the Book Beginnings page linked above. Hope to see you there!

 

book-beginnings-button-danielle-steel

Danielle Steel’s The Klone and I*

(*Amazon Affiliate link)

This is one of the oldest books on the challenge list, published in 1998.

Summary:  When her husband of thirteen years leaves,  Stephanie isn’t ready for the dating world. That is, until she meets someone during a spontaneous trip to Paris. Has she finally found her match?

First Sentence:

My first, and thus far only, marriage ended exactly two days before Thanksgiving.

Discussion:

Although she is wildly popular, I have never read anything written by Danielle Steel before.

Even though it is a sad time for Stephanie, the way the first scene is written made me nod my head and at times chuckle. I liked the first person voice. It made me feel like I was talking to a close girlfriend.

Without giving too much away, at about 100 pages things change abruptly.  Although authors are supposed to defy readers’ expectations half way through the book, this was way too much. I’ve read that the first sentence/scene/chapter should set the tone for the book, like the author’s promise to the reader:  “If you like this, you’ll like the rest of the book because it will be the same.” In this case, the promise was broken.

Do you think the first chapter should set the tone for the book? Have you ever read a book that changed tone so much you no longer enjoyed it?

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