I'm currently listening to Atlantis by David Gibbins. He's not a super well known author, but he is a published author through one of the big publishing houses. So, I will use his work as a reference point.
If you look up this book on Amazon, you will see a lot of mixed ratings. People bad mouth the book for its overuse of technical information. They wanted more action. Other people complain that the idea of finding ancient Atlantis was a subplot and not the main plot. His diction is mentioned in a negative light, and the plot of the book is not very believeable. He uses a lot of telling dialog. In the end, you can not make everyone happy.
I would probably rate it around 4 stars. There are some aspects of the story I would have done slightly differently. However, I am not bothered by what most people were complaining about. I loved the technical information. I'm an amateur student of history. Yes, parts of it reminded me of college lectures ... the type I would have enjoyed.
I haven't finished the book, so I can't comment on the final discoveries. However, the aspects of Atlantis at this point are an exciting part of the story for me.
This is not a book for a general audience. To state that another way, here's a quote from a 4-star review on Amazon: "Fans of the fast-paced action thriller will find it tedious." This same reviewer stated that this book would appeal to some, "highly engrossing to others."
This author does a lot of the things that many of the PROS say stay away from. He deviates from SAID often. He uses adverbs without reservation. His characters further the plot through telling dialog.
Interestingly, the only mention of this type of amateur writing in the reviews is the following:
The thing that really sealed it for me was the phrase "There was a collective gasp of astonishment." I hate this phrase, and the auther used it several times thoughout the book, once just a couple of pages apart. When he used this phrase it wasn't even for anything that special even.
Because I have studied both sides of the issue, I can pick out the spots that would irritate the reader that gets annoyed at the use of SAID alternatives. But, these were not a detractor for me.
He used muttered, interjected, exclaimed, etc ... none of which irritated me. They helped in most cases. Where they didn't help, I ignored them and kept listening. I enjoyed the story despite these quirks about the author.
Because there were several positive reviews, I am convinced that my style of writing is not an immediate death stroke in the publishing world, though perhaps it only appeals to some.