Wednesday, 12 February 2014

You've convinced me, Brian.  The more I think about it, the more I see Rohmer writing books and then breaking them in two parts for money instead of art.  Or maybe some clever editor did it.  And why shouldn't they?  It was a different era in publishing, maybe, when readers didn't demand that everything took 600 pages or it didn't count.  Agatha Christie could write 180 pages everyone agreed she'd earned her $1.25 ($1.75 in Canada).  Have you ever tried to read Twilight or any of the other teenage sagas?  They're as thick as cinder blocks.  I'm not sure about how immortality works, but I believe a book can go on forever.  I've seen evidence.  They seem to be nothing but wheel spinning.

Clare needed to ask Gary something, "Gary?"
"What is it?" Gary replied.
Clare had been thinking. "I've been thinking," Clare said.
"Is it about the werewolves?" Gary asked, softly.
"Why do you ask?" Clare asked.
"Because you look troubled." Gary said, his perfect eyes fixed on hers.  She blushed.
"You're blushing," he said.
He knew her so well. "No I'm not,"she lied.  "I'm just troubled about the werewolves."
Gary knew this was a difficult subject for her, but he had to know why she was troubled, "Tell me why they trouble you," he demanded, gently.

They're written like teenagers on the phone.

"You hang up."
"No you hang up."

But obviously the appeal for the fan isn't the story at all.  It's spending time with the characters.

My copy of Exodus/UK has maybe 30 pages of padding, but it's the old-fashioned kind.  Nice wide margins.  Maps.  Illustrations.  Title pages.  Second title pages. Title pages between sections.  Dedications. Character lists.  Funny to imagine some editor going:  "Dick... Dicky baby... this 300 page book is actually two 225-page books.  Watch."  I wonder if Rohmer was impressed or appalled.

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