My latest read was a book by Douglas Kennedy called The Moment.
I waited ages for him to publish another novel but I didn’t mind because I knew when it arrived it would have been worth the wait. How wrong can a girl be?
Some authors get books published at a rapid rate and I often wonder how they do it. Writing itself takes time, not to mention the umpteen edits, on top of which there’s a life to live.
I remember being surprised on hearing about the way Barbara Cartland wrote books … well, in truth, it was a secretarial team that did the work. I suppose she set the theme of each book and let them get on with it. It killed the illusion of hard grafting.
You know the old saying ‘when you’ve read one you’ve read them all’ … for sure reading Cartland’s ‘much the same’ novels didn’t have the same appeal as a book someone had spent time on. The image of a struggling author bent over a desk, quill pen in hand, crumpled paper on the floor and not a secretary in sight does more to attract me to purchase the end product.
Barbara Cartland is no longer with us but she was not alone in saturating the market with reading matter. Nora Roberts is one of many more. I love her work but do wonder how on earth she gets so much stuff finished and published in record time.
I wonder if the transition to e-Books will be the same?
Copy and paste has a lot going for it so writing a book on a computer must be quicker than using laborious handwriting and reams of paper but that doesn’t mean the final result will be any better.
Going back to the latest Douglas Kennedy: the disappointment was acute. Tediousness was such that I found myself skimming whole paragraphs to try and get on with the story. Dialogue was undertaken with outrageously long words that would drive a true conversationalist insane. I’m sure nobody speaks that way in the real world. The background was historic, based on life in
The main characters didn’t get together until almost the middle of the book which made me wonder if the story would ever gain pace. Mediocre sex scenes were loosely described, mainly a lot of tumbling in and out of bed which failed to stir the senses, if you know what I mean.
Basically the story is a recap of an American writer’s romance in
The man meets woman situation was hasty; she was moving in with him within days. Their conversations, when they weren’t devouring each other in bed, were extensively geared to readers of the Chambers Dictionary. One chapter was devoted to the female character’s past life, conversationally narrated with interminable descriptions and almost page length paragraphs that made me want to skip the lot. I have yet to meet anyone who can relate a life story without interruption. I was taught that a writer should aim for space in order to give the reader breathing space.
One thing in Kennedy’s favour is the amount of research that was done; a history lesson in itself if written as such.
I have studied the reviews. Whilst first time Kennedy readers thought it was good, his regular followers did not. I wish I’d read them before chancing my arm, though I would probably have ignored them on the grounds that I’d always liked the author so wouldn’t be disappointed in his work.
So, Mr Kennedy, I’m afraid it’s goodbye from me. It’s unlikely that I will wait for the next one.