Sunday, September 18, 2011

The Book That Would Not Start.

No, not my latest infallibly brilliant idea for my next novel, which is now several pages of irreconcilable and incomprehensible notes. I mean the book I was listening to on audiobook for the last, well, long time. The good news is that the story did eventually begin. The bad news is that it started in the middle. First the author planted an unsubtle clue about one of the characters, and then, as night the day, that character was murdered. From there a long series of coincidences, convenient connections, and hidden information led to a sorta happy ending. Justice was served, the innocent escaped, the Right Things were done, etc.

As I have mentioned, I don't read many mysteries. Ignore the fact that my published book was a mystery. We've wept about that one previously. Here's the issue I had with this one: how does a writer get away with introducing an important character in the last ten percent of a book? Seriously, you'd better be pulling the curtain on the Wizard of Oz. Add in some trick names and I had quite a time sorting this story.

Plus, the one Big Question I had during the whole thing wasn't answered! There was a child involved, and some doubt was raised as to who her mother might be. If this question was answered, I missed it. Grrr... In all, it was a construction of coincidences and similarities of stories across time, and all very stylish, and the writing was truly beautiful in many ways, but...

Yeah, not my thing. Since the author is successful and the book highly acclaimed, I can tell you this was Kate Atkinson's Started Early, Took My Dog.

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