Thursday, March 7, 2019
Trash and Treasure.
A few months ago I bought a book I had heard great things about. It seemed like the kind of thing I would like, the author seems like a cool person I would love to hang out with and chat, the publisher is a name publisher, and the reviews were glowing. Almost universally so.
I threw it straight to the top of my 'to be read' stack, and dived straight in.
Here, a few months later, I find myself thinking about it again. I'm not sure why but it was on my mind when I woke this morning. But not for any good reasons.
It was dull, slow and plodding. Crises points were manufactured to the point of ridiculous levels, dialogue was clunky and unnatural, and some of the scenes and events were plain hokey and would have seemed out-of-place in a 1930s novel.
I really wanted to love it. I really did. Instead I merely tolerated it.
I haven't checked, but it's probably won some awards and been nominated for 'best of' lists. So what is it I'm missing that apparently others are getting?
Yeah, yeah, yeah. I know taste comes into things. I know people enjoy different reads. I know we all see different things, but this isn't about taste. It's about quality of writing, being able to create snappy dialogue and events that flow naturally.
Is it simply horses for courses?
On the other hand, I've just picked up another book from another name author and this one ticks all the boxes. I'm 30 pages in and hooked. Yes, I've enjoyed this authors other works, and reading this one I can see the reasons why. And I'm learning things from this work.
Oh well. One person's trash is another person's treasure. It's just a shame the above-mentioned novel wasn't one of my treasures.
Posted by Steve Cameron at 12:45 PM
Labels: critiquing, publishing, Science Fiction, writing
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