Friday, March 26, 2010

Do Not Want.

I was wandering a bookstore looking at the new fiction yesterday and found a couple of things that reduce a novel's appeal for me. One is a trend I thought would die out years ago: the New Age-y Title. Examples:

Like Water for Chocolate
Water for Elephants
The (insert archaic job title)'s Daughter

Even Marquez is guilty:

Love in the Time of Cholera

There was a new one yesterday:

The Solitude of Prime Numbers

Honestly, if anything will make a reader long for Olive Kitteridge, this trend is it. But then I noticed something else. Read the precis on the inside flap of too many novels and find this:

(Character name) is haunted by (choose: his past, the accident, memories, etc., etc.). In short, pick anything except a ghost. So here is a plea from a potential reader. If your character is haunted, have it be by a dead guy. I'm tired of ennui and angst. I can supply my own, thanks. If there really is a ghost, carry on.

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