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Reviews for Happy Endings

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Self-Indulgent Rubbish

By:Isaac Wilcott, Ridgecrest, California
Date:Wednesday 2 April 2003
Rating:   1

If someone were to novelize the Academy Awards, and throw in a few caricatures of various "Doctor Who" characters, it would resemble this, the sickeningly self-congratulatory 50th New Adventure by Paul Cornell.

The plot -- what little there is of it, which is surprising since it goes on for about 250 pages -- involves Bernice's marriage to Jason Kane. But what it actually consists of is people running around, spouting inane chatter, shagging, and quoting pop songs in a tongue-in-cheek fashion which, I suppose, is meant to show how terribly clever the author is. There's also an immodest amount of cloning and infidelity, as well as a really stupid song. And I won't even bother critiquing Cornell's characterization of the Master, who pops up briefly merely to annoy people.

As much as I like the cover -- featuring, as it does, over a dozen characters from previous novels, along with a handy-dandy profile drawing on the inside cover showing who is who -- this book is an absolute, unmitigated disaster, and Cornell should be ashamed of himself for writing it, and the series' editor should be ashamed for having compounded the author's folly by actually publishing the dratted thing.

And what gets me is, after all the to-do of getting Bernice married and having a happy ending, the series' writers go off and have her divorce Jason just a few books later. "Happy Endings" indeed...


By:Dylan, Melbourne Aust
Date:Friday 6 February 2004
Rating:   7

I liked this book! It was never meant to be anything but a bit of light fluff and a bit of fun, which it was....I quite enjoyed the and it was nice to see Ishtar and a few of the others from earlier NA's come back if only briefly...

Stupid, pathetic.

By:Mike McGovern, Edmonton, Canada
Date:Thursday 26 January 2006
Rating:   1

Paul Cornell has always been an unpleasant writer. Happy Endings is a mess, a disaster, and very depressing indeed. There is always a lack of cheerfulness to Paul's prose, like he's trying to trudge uphill underwater,and it always drags me down whenever I have to view any of his work. For the sake of this review, though, I read his stupid book.

I've always hated Bernice. She bugs me. She is indecent, fippant, vapid, and drags around too much personal baggage. She's like a big, irritating, disrespectful teenage girl, and we all know what selfish little devils those can be. She doesn't have a sophisticated bone in her body. Every one of the Doctor's companions has had some kind of personal dignity, even Ace, but not "Benny." Oh yes, and she's a smart-aleck to the Doctor, too. And not in a good or charming way.

Her personal scenes with Jason are pathetic. It seems clear that the author knows nothing about the kindess of genuine love, and he can't even fake it for the sake of the story. Benny and Jason quibble and fight like two people who don't even like each other, and even when they are married, there is an insincere, impermanent feel to the entire proceeding. But maybe that's just because Benny is a very insincere person, and so, apparently, is the author.

The book, as a whole, suffers from Paul's graceless writing. I see him as the man who ruined Doctor Who with his weirdnes and his dark epics. Revelation comes to mind. I hope he retires. -Regards.

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