Thursday, 26 June 2014
The Silkworm by Robert Galbraith
Opening with dialogue puts an opening at risk of not hooking. The example above is a good example of how dialogue fails to hook.
This conversation begins because someone is upset that someone else (who is unshaven) is calling early in the morning. It's mostly incidental banter. There's lots of swearing on page 1 too, as if the Potter creator is trying to cleanse herself of wholesome writing. The swearing doesn't stop there either; it's as if someone is either paid extra to write swear words or the characters are really stupid. In real life people swear, but those who do it in every sentence and so aggressively are the ones most people like to avoid, unless these swearers are at a bar or getting shot at in some distant land. It just sounds forced, shallow and unnatural. I want to avoid unimaginative characters who swear as much as I want to avoid unimaginative real people.
Page 2 is mostly of the descriptive variety with walking as the characters get up and walk to converge on the first plot point. The description describes pointless things like a street and a cafe, broken up with some urination before describing Strike. He is dark and large with a grimy jaw and is bruised. By the sounds of it, this guy's name could be Stanley, but because he's been beaten up in that manly attractive way, he might be hallucinating into thinking he's called Strike, as in strike me.
I'm sorry, I like the other books by this author but the Robert Galbraith trademark stuff is not as good. I couldn't finish the last one and have no interest in this one, and that's saying a lot for someone who loves to read and write mysteries. Page 1 does not excite me so I dare not invest time in the other 400+ pages.