Saturday, March 23, 2013

The Bone Thief, Jefferson Bass

As a fan of Bones I tend to look for crime fiction based on forensics. 

These days, books are written and published in large numbers. Yet there are complaints that people don’t read enough.

Could be it’s not that people have, overnight, developed a reluctance to read. Could be a lot of what’s being published is frankly bad writing? 

So what should constitute good writing, given that the aim of such a style is to cause the reader to read, to read through to the end?

After the deplorable Godfather of Kathmandu, Jefferson Bass’ The Bone Thief shows promise as an example of attractive style.

Read an excerpt from THE BONE THIEF.

I know I want to read on...

So how is it with you? Do you plod through any given book feeling it's your fault you find it hard to read on?  Or can you be critical about what you read? 

One reason for our lack of judgement might be that all too many of us are wannabe writers and all too many wannabe writers are too lax on themselves: it feels so good to output x number of words per day and, hey, they sound so well in your head!

That's the tragedy! Your readers are not in your head. They're out there. The words you write need to get out there.

I suggest that if you're serious about writing, read aloud. Especially your own writing. Observe where you stumble and falter. Perhaps that will help you redesign your piece?

Thursday, March 21, 2013


This is the book for you if you do not like action, if you enjoy pages and pages of the protagonist’s introspection, if you enjoy a warped view of the “natives”, if you enjoyed Kipling and Maugham

In short, The Godfather of Kathmandu is yet another product of a writer who has obviously attended classes of some sort on How to Write Novels, who believes in his 1000 words per day regime.

Charming at first, in a caricaturist way, the novel begins to pall when page after page plods painfully through what looks like a Lobsang Rampa bizarro world.
Initially, the reading conjured shades of an Oxide Pang movie: the greenish hue, the odd shred of horror thrown in…

And here and there, there is, admittedly, something of some small worth: a description of a mall rings quite genuine, for example.

But, mostly, a book to give the miss! Or to a Miss? The Missus?