Monday 6 December 2021

Blogging Arvon

Scary stories read out loud late at night in a big old barn. Yorkshire, middle-of-nowhere, halfway down the valley at the end of a steep lane. It’s late November and the weather forecast is for high winds and snow tonight. 

Sounds a bit of a cliché, doesn’t it? Read more ...

(c) Ariell Cacciola

Sunday 4 April 2021

On Not-Reviewing

I’ve just read a book. No surprises there. It was OK, I suppose – I’d probably give it a 3-4 on Amazon if I left a review. It was readable, certainly. Not unputdownable (if that’s even a word) and it didn’t have a twist-I-wouldn’t-see-coming. Or did it? 

I can’t review this book. Because if I did, I’d have to say what I liked/didn’t like. And what I didn’t like would be a massive spoiler and unfair on the author and future readers. It’s published by Thomas & Mercer, which I believe is Amazon’s own publishing arm? All the more reason not to put spoilers in reviews! 

You see, the twist-I-wouldn’t-see-coming should have been obvious for anyone with half a brain to work out – if the author had played fair with the reader. And by playing fair, I mean been transparent, let the reader properly experience the story through the eyes of the characters as it unfolds. In this novel, we have 3 distinct points of view so we ought to be completely inside the heads of 3 different characters. Since all 3 characters interact closely throughout the story, I’d expect – as the reader – to be fully immersed in exactly how the each POV-character is thinking and feeling in relation to the other 2 characters. But I’m not. It’s only in the final pages of the book that I realise that one character has done something pivotal to turn the story on its head. Thinking back, I can see that there is a clue (although it’s planted quite far on in the book, which doesn’t seem fair), BUT the character doesn’t think about this AT ALL throughout the entire novel. Not until the last two pages. 

Now, I’m not a psychologist, but I’m pretty sure that if I was plotting to kill somebody. I’d be thinking about it constantly. Day and night. Anything written from my perspective would have to include those thoughts – especially if somebody else gets there first and murders my prospective victim! At the very least, I’d be thankful that somebody saved me the job and at least nobody will suspect me now! And to not even hint at it at all via the character’s thoughts is cheating the character and cheating the reader. Not fair.

No review from me.