Thursday, 27 February 2014
The Case of the Missing Books by Ian Sansom
No, no, no, no, no.
The title alone should hook. Missing books! Oh, no, no, no, no, no!
The rest of the first paragraph:
This was not what was supposed to happen. This was not it at all.
No, I think we get it. This is preamble and obviously something is wrong, but since readers don't know what it is, why should they care? The only way this novel beginning gets read further is if the reader swallows his annoyance with the preamble babble and reads on despite the useless first paragraph that does nothing but establish tone. I, like most people, need more than tone and a promise of conflict to be hooked.
We soon learn that the library is closed much to the disbelief of a character. And trust me, this almost Seussian disbelief is mentioned a few times: It's shock, horror, and disbelief. A little overdone. It's almost as if the author were still figuring out what comes next, but meantime, let's have some more disbelief.
Chapter 1 ends:
This was definitely not supposed to happen. No. This was not it at all.
Sound familiar? How many authors actually plagiarize their book in same said book?
First thing said: