I have been wanting to start a new weekly feature called Friday Fiction in which I would review a book a week and open the comments to literature discussions. However, this has not happened. It has not happened for a very good reason. Writing a book review is much harder than I realized. I had decided that my first review would be of my favourite Jane Austen novel, Persuasion. After all, who doesn’t love Jane Austen? So I wrote my review and I was really disappointed with it. How do you reveal the perfect amount of a book? Too much of the book and no one will want to read it, too little of the book and you can’t convey why it is so great. I just couldn’t translate my love of this novel into a succinct review. I’m not sure if I need to keep working at it or if I should try a different novel.
I think instead, what I would like to do is to address a genre of novel – the successful classic novel take off, or rip off as it might me called. Now, I speak only for myself, but what I would like to say is, just stop it. Please. Whether you have a classic heroine fighting zombies, finding a soul mate in Florida, becoming a long distance runner (come on!) or you are telling the story from the perspective of a different character, just don’t. The classic authors did it best, that is why they are classics. If Jane Austen had wanted the novel to be written from Darcy’s point of view SHE would have done that. How about you razzle dazzle us with a completely new story that has nothing to do with someone else’s brilliant writing. It is unlikely that your book will hold up to a classic and if you’re going to riff on a classic novel you better be prepared for the comparisons and the scrutiny.
Now, there are some people who love this kind of thing. There must be, or authors would not continue to write these spin offs but, I am not one of them and this is my blog. If you love these spin off novels I would love to hear why. If you agree with me I’d love to hear that too. I love hearing that I am sooo right but I’m also willing to try a novel if you can convince me that it really is worth the read.
In the mean time I have to decide what I want to do about the reviews. If I commit to them, that makes this blog a little more work and a little less fun, but that’s not necessarily a bad thing. Then there’s also the thought that there are already many, many reviews of books out there. I do love books, and I love discussing them which means that there will need to be comments. Are we up for that? When I say we, I mean you lurkers out there that my stats tell my exist. Have you got something to say for yourselves about books? To my regular commenters out there (all 5 of you) I’m counting on you. Are you up to the commitment?
I think I’ll work on a couple of reviews and see if I can crank out something that pleases me enough to post and we’ll go from there. I think I’ve just been talking out loud to myself in blog form.