Spent a day walking, and walking, and then walking some more. This is my fourth trip to New Orleans, but my first research trip. I still amazed at the number of historical artifacts that have survived. Lots of good information, small observations, and listening to people talk, all of which are a help when I’m writing. Which of course I’m not doing just now, because I’m busy walking.
On the plane I found a novel in my seat-back pocket, which I then began to read. It was such a trainwreck of a novel, I couldn’t quite put it down and neither could I keep myself from wincing. No, I’m not going to name it. It makes me uncomfortable reviewing something if I can’t find even one good thing to say.
In this case, I quickly began skimming. Jumping over long dialog passages full of info-dumping, over even worse internal monologue. A thirty year old, never married, career oriented lawyer (a male, by the way) who is reminded of Blue’s Clues. What else is this but the author’s own POV coming through? So I’m skimming for plot (because sometimes novels that are awful on every other level have a decent plot)… but no such luck. What I mean to say is, there is a plot, but it was poorly constructed, thin at best, predictable and unbelievable at the same time. It’s too bad, because there are some promising almost-characters here. And I also must admit that the last novel I read was Dorothy Dunnett. She’s a hard act to follow. There was a paragraph of description (if I had the book handy I’d quote it) that was short but so clear and intense that I re-read it ten times. And she pulls that off again and again. Of course, she sometimes also strays into the purposefully obscure and overly subtle, but for Niccolo, I’d put up with a lot more than that.
Unfortunately, I won’t learn from this experience. The next time I find a book on a plane, I’ll probably try to read it. Hope springs eternal.
You may have noticed that I’m posting this at 3:30 in the morning. That’s because insomnia has followed me across the country, piggy-back style.