Friday, March 17, 2006

The light reading fit

came on me very strongly last night, so that I had to go to the bookstore and find some suitable mass-market paperbacks--fortunately I laid hands immediately on the perfect thing, common sense made me stop reading around 2am last night so that I could get some sleep but I've just finished Dead Witch Walking by Kim Harrison and it is really excellent, a bit rough around the edges in some respects but you are completely engaged with the story & Harrison is an extremely talented writer in all the ways that matter.

Honesty compels me to admit that some things could have been better; the editing part of my brain was itching to make a good book into a great one. (Sara Gran recently complained about the tendency of Amazon reviewers to suggest--ignorantly in many cases, I am sure--that various books "could have used an editor", and I definitely take her point about the general myth/misconception that "'editors no longer edit'" and the cheapness of it as a criticism; and yet....) There were far too many typos of the "peddled" for "pedaled" or "lessoned" for "lessened" variety. And many sentences that would have been a lot clearer with thorough copy-editing. And this book as many other private investigator-paranormal romance hybrids does not fulfill the basic standard of sensibleness as far as the investigative activities of the main character--she kept on doing things that were so patently absurd that I occasionally lost sympathy. Finally, it is just not psychologically plausible, even if you do want to keep the romance component going, to have the narrator commenting on the beauty of the male villain & lusting after his body when he has her trapped (in the form of a mink) in a cage in his office. Yet all of these things were only very minor irritations, as the important stuff concerning character and voice was so strong--I bought the next two in the series at the same time, and if I were a sensible person I would keep them to read on my trip to Montreal (Shakespeare in the eighteenth century!) the week after next, they are really close to the perfect light reading. But also because they are such good light reading, it seems extremely likely that I will not be able to hold out so long. There's a cliffhanger for you....

2 comments:

  1. Ah, I have "Dead Witch Walking" beside my bed right now, on loan from a friend! It looks like great fun; I'm saving for a low, take-to-the-bed-type evening, it does seem like it would hit a certain spot that most books can't.

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  2. Jenny, we're both right--well, at least you are, and I can still pretend that I am ... COPYeditors never get the credit or the blame they deserve. It's one of those strange invisible jobs.

    By the way, the new book sounds GREAT!

    Sara

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