In My Bad Books
I love reviewing books – you get to read a huge selection of terrific novels you’d never otherwise know about. I’ve discovered a large number of good new authors this way. Just lately, though, there seems to have been an equally large explosion of truly lousy writing. I mean stinking, reeking, Bulwer-Lytton level, semi-literate trash. One book I opened this contained the following line; ”Help’ he screamed aloud, silently, through gritted teeth.’ Another had ‘In Manhattan in spring, love blossoms. And sometimes it explodes.’ And another. ”You’re joking,’ he guffawed, cocking a brow at her.’
These, I must stress, are not from the slush pile. They are finished hardback British novels, and I would like to think that such appalling writing would never grace the pages of a US book. How did they ever get past their readers? Conversely, our Campaign For Real Fear has shown what an incredible wealth of genuine talent there is out there – but many of the first-time entrants have yet to be published.
Maura McHugh and I will shortly be back with a full report on the contest, and its outcome. And of course, the winners.