From the exterior view, Four Weeks contained some of the staples of a traditional sci-fi story – aliens, threats of destruction and conflict.
Unfortunately, once I opened the book up, I was washed off my feet in a flood of adjectives describing that apotheosis of humanity, the computer student. Our twenty-year-old hero, about to complete his doctorate, equipped with abs and a chiseled jaw to make Michelangelo lay down his tools in despair, also coincidentally has a stunningly beautiful girlfriend, who is also (coincidentally) about to complete her doctorate in the same topic. I’m afraid that the sheer perfection of the main character shot the plausibility of the book down in flames as far as I was concerned pretty much on page one.
Four Weeks also has a tendency to combine slang with a rather formal lack of casual contractions in the dialogue, giving the faintly unnerving impression that the speakers are octogenarians experimenting with colloquialism. Combined with the point of view slips between the omniscient and the third person and the continual descriptions of trivia, the writing continually got in way of the story for me.
However, our hero’s admirable ability to watch his mother be killed, and bounce back to build a house from scratch with no money in the space of an evening and still have time left over to design alien-killing weapons to save the world in the same day is impressive. Sadly, my resilience wasn’t as remarkable, and I had to leave this book as a ‘did not finish’ at about 15% complete.