Wednesday, 11 December 2013

Deeply Odd by Dean Koontz

Before dawn, I woke in darkness to the ringing of a tiny bell, the thimble-size bell that I wore on a chain around my neck: three bursts of silvery sound, a brief silence after each.

Another beginning-in-bed saga with some person, hiding behind the veil of a pronoun, waking up in as confused a state as the reader is forced into by this line. The only thing different about this bed setting is the ringing bell. The author explores this unusual manifestation further on the first page.

By paragraph two the author reveals the season (I'm glad, as it was bugging me not knowing) but recovers with the protagonist meeting up with a guy who has: a desire to commit a few murders.

By the end of the first page, the forward narrative comes to an abrupt halt with some terse back story.

First thing said:

"Daylight savings time doesn't start for another five days."

With this line, a character tells us what time of year it is. So there was no need to mention the month earlier. Why do people insist on creating redundancies in their writing and so close together? Do today's writers value a reader's time, or is it that they think their readers are just too stupid to remember, calculate or infer for themselves? In this case, it is minor, but I've come across so many examples of repetition in openings, which I've reviewed on this blog, that it's really starting to annoy.

I give this a pass because of the character and the situation he's confronted with on the first page, you know, the guy with the desire to commit a few murders.

Verdict: Pass (barely)

Rudy Globird

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