I try hard to make my posts interesting, relevant, witty, topical and otherwise SEOgenic, but this one is going to be boring. Writers spend so much time writing to please… no, charm… editors etc that we have sometimes to allow ourselves some space to be ourselves and let go. Dr Johnson wrote that ‘No man but a blockhead ever wrote except for money ‘ (Wikiquotes) but the truth is we don’t always. To be spare you, however, this post will be short.
Back to the topic promised in the heading: why no book reviews recently? I can assure you that I haven’t stopped reading, nor have I spent over two weeks reading the last book posted up here. I feel I’m writing too many book reviews and that, if I’m not careful, this will cease to be writing blog. The other issue is that I haven’t read anything recently which I can give a positive review. I wrote some time ago that I would be unstintingly honest in what I said about each book, but, on the other hand, I don’t want to pan another writer’s work – even the work of an established author. I am just a scribbler (hardly a successful one), not an academic literary critic, who has spent years studying literature. So my silence must speak for itself.
No, Dear Reader, I did not like what I saw: involved and convoluted sentences (containing brackets) – and em dashes; spelling and grammar mistakes; and words omitted. Aren’t books proofread anymore? Characters lacked… er… character, or were wooden caricatures. Often none of the characters in a whole novel were likeable, although every one contained some interesting insights. Plots were muddled and unconvincing, ending far too quickly – suddenly, everything was all right again – although descriptive passages in all of them were well-written. Next Tuesday, I’m going to see ‘The History Boys’ at The Mercury Theatre in Colchester, so I’m going to read the play first. I may – or may not – write a review.