My last post I was talking about rating novels. I put All That I Am at the top but only because I think it deserves every prize it wins because of the type of book it is. It's a large book. But this doesn't mean I loved loved loved it. More I was impressed by it and impressed too that an Australian had written it. Makes sense that she lives overseas and has spent a lot of time overseas. This book did not come out of the brain of a person with a small backyard, so to speak.
Foal's Bread made me feel more than ATIA, so while I've ranked it below the Funder-wunder, in terms of heart I think it has more (however one major bone I have to pick with that book is that most of my momentum in reading it came from a need to find out what happened to the baby in the river. We never do, so that was disappointing.)
Just finished Jasper Jones; it doesn't have as much heart as Past the Shallows BUT it has some of the best cracking dialogue, and humour as well, which Past didn't have. ATIA didn't have much humour. Foal's - can't remember. Past the Shallows was lovely, will be interested to see what she does next. Now that story is out of the way.
I like heart and beauty but it doesn't mean it can't be dark. But with the darkness I'm sick of cliches. I don't want dead mothers, or horrible mothers (a la Jasper). I don't want dead fathers or horrible fathers (a la Jasper and Past the Shallows). Probably that's why ATIA worked for me (apart from the incidental things I've mentioned several times) - there are none of those parental cliches.
I'm going to re-try The Man Who Loved Children because I've just re-read Franzen's essay on it.
I'm also going to re-read the first novel of the woman in my writing group. The other night, she reminded me I'd said something about it (I'm terrible at reviewing books to their writer's faces, just terrible).
You said it kind of went nowhere, she said.
Did I? I don't remember saying that. (I didn't.)
Yeah. You said something like it trailed away at the end, or was disappointing or something.
I can't remember. Why didn't you ask me what I meant?
I didn't know you as well. I would now, but not then.
So I'm thinking I owe it to this woman, to read it again and give her a proper response. She has been very good with me and with helping me, ie putting me in touch with two big editors (editrixes?) who have my book, again, looking at it (after revisions.) Which sounds more impressive than it is, really I am not expecting anything (other than deep in my heart of hearts...)
The other thing is I have now put this blog link on a writer bio I had to submit. I asked the friend above whether I should clean it up, remove anything defamatory or nasty about other writers and she said 'nah, leave it. That's the good thing about blogs, they are out there.'
Hmmm. I don't know. I'm not sure about the baggings of various books, eg the piece of excrement about the sister of Jesus, um was the there anything else? It's not good form to be critical of books is it? If you are wanting to gain entry into that world yourself? Don't you have to suck up to everyone and be all bland?