An open discussion on what everyone is currently reading. Make recommendations to others, discuss what is new, hot, bestsellers, anything and everything related to books and the authors.

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Mmm..  Make that SAIL OF STONE for Edwardson.  Title makes even less sense now.  That's what I mean by pointless literary obfuscation.

Val McDermid's Trick of the Dark and enjoying every word of it!

Oh, good.  And welcome, Mary.

Still catching up with recent releases by Australian female authors - so The Betrayal by YA Erskine currently, next up The Mistake by Wendy James and then from there... time to do some catching up on the Ned Kelly nominees - there's a few on the list I'd like to have a look at.

My latest two have been one resounding disappointment and one excellent as expected ! 

The disappointment was Robert Ferrigno's "Prayers for the Assassin "  . - He starts off with a great and very believable concept - an America in the future has become a divided land again, over half being an Islamic Republic and a large part of the south being a Bible Republic. -Then instead of extrapolating into all the possible angles of these changes, he writes a commonplace kidnapping story ! - BORING.

The excellent was John Sandford's "Stolen Prey". His latest, this novel has a really good plot, brings back some of his very good characters from past books, and Lucas's stepdaughter Lettie 'comes of age' you might say -  I read this long book in less than 2 days !  -HIGHLY  RECOMMENDED

I've only read one of Sanford's series (Phantom Prey) and didn't enjoy it. Was that just a poor edition or is John's writing not for me?

I finished The Detachment by Barry Eisler on the weekend. Enjoyed it, but wasn't blown away.

Currently reading Temple by Matthew Reilly. Loving it!

On a different note, I've had my first draft out with a few friends to get some initial feedback. All positive and looks like another draft and I'll be hunting down some publishers.

Tim, -I can only suggest that you should possibly try one of Sandford's early books, "Rules of prey" or  "Shadow prey" and give him another chance. 

It's really hard to say what makes some people like a book and other similar people dislike it.  My wife and I often read the same books and mostly have the same opinions about them - but not always. We've found that I'm much more 'picky' about accurate technical detail, which she often glides over.  -For instance, a few years ago, in a so-called "military/techno thriller" the author had a well known British aircraft carrying bombloads that it definitely couldn't and flying about 3 times it's range !  -After that, I simply couldn't read it any further, no matter how enticing the mystery was ! - VERY poor research on his part.

- - Unfortunately, a very well known author, Patrick Robinson, has also slid into this trap. -His early books were very accurate, but his last two have had many technical inaccuracies.

I've not come across Barry Eisler or Matthew Reilly before, but I'm going to try a couple of their early books to see what I think - -

So happy to hear Sandford's back with a great "Prey" book. I don't like his other series, and it seemed to me that after he married Weather and had the kid, Sandford didn't know what to do with him. Thanks for the recommendation!

Archer Mayor.  Title doesn't matter.  This is a style issue.  This is a "bestselling author" who, in my opinion, can't write.  Nobody seems to care.  No, it's not grammar or diction.  It's verbose narrative with a word or two of dialogue  every 20 pages.  It's worse that that.  When the protagonist is supposed to identify the body of his former wife, an emotional moment for him, the author follows up on the lifting of the sheet with pages of ruminations and past memories.  No!  At that moment, you must acknowledge the identity and have a reaction.  You cannot postpone it.  It makes no psychological sense and irritates the reader.

Is it just me, or do most readers just not care about writing skill?


It may be that many readers don't care if the story or the characters make "psychological sense." We've been trained to believe that verbose narration and pages of rumination and past memories are "deep" and revealing of "character" and what we should be looking for.


This is why I rarely read "mainstream" authors. I read a few big names, but mostly I read in the niches. where the better writers hang out.

Not really a mainstream author.  I was quite unfamiliar with him.  And there's a difference between getting in the hero's head and slowing the story down to yawn-producing progress or getting human behavior wrong.  I like getting into people's heads.  Nothing wrong with that.


Actually quite right about niches, Dana.  But what does that say about the buyers of books?  And why do a few good men make it?


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