That’s all I’ve been doing in my creative world. Recently I finished reading 2 books written in the same genre as the one I’m writing (crime/mystery):
Lee Child – Killing Floor
This is Lee’s first novel that introduces the character Jack Reacher (being played by Tom Cruise in the movie One Shot). At first I was a bit jarred by the style of writing. A) It was written in first perspective and present tense and B) It was a very blunt style of writing. Sparse. Sentences like this. And then something else happens. But that’s. It. It wasn’t bad, not entirely enthralling, and there was a big dip in the middle where I lost interest. The ending saved it, although I really pushed myself to get there.
Ian Rankin – Tooth and Nail
The third in the series of Detective John Rebus. Luckily this one was shorter than ‘Killing Floor’, although it was pretty paint by numbers for a serial killer novel. Did what it set out to do. The main effect it had on me was making me realise that even though I’m writing a novel in the crime/mystery genre, I’m not particularly sure I enjoy reading those books. Maybe I’m just not interested in books that are ‘okay’. Give me something as outstanding as The Silence of the Lambs and I’ll be like pig in shit, but I’m finding it difficult to be enthused about crime novels, even from big hitters such as Ian Rankin or Lee Child. I might start looking at the classics from Arthur Conan Doyle and Agatha Christie.
Maybe it’s not about the genre, maybe it’s just the books. I’ve mentioned Philip Glass in an earlier post about his comments on ‘taste’; I believe I’ve got a particularly high standard so maybe that’s the problem. I’m fully aware that I probably won’t write anything that will meet my high standards (what ‘artist’ does?), but I’ve got to aim high. If I could be half as successful as Lee Child or Ian Rankin, I’d be a very happy (and rich) man.
One of the many effects of writing a novel though is it has definitely sparked a new love (obsession) for books. I’ve found myself quite disinterested in movies or TV these days. Computer games? What are they? Books. I just want to read and write all the time. I love it.
My beautiful girlfriend bought me a kindle for my birthday last week (I’ve had 2 and broken them both. Luckily they weren’t mine but from work). Kindles are great. Yes, I understand if you’re the kind of person who likes to read ‘real’ books, but you can’t beat the efficiency and ease of a kindle. Actually, I read a lot in bed and find holding books and turning the pages whilst lying on my back to be a total ball ache. With a kindle I can poise it perfectly in the grip of one hand and with the slightest amount of pressure from my right thumb, change page. Perfect.
Anyway, back to this book I’m reading…