I feel like I should rig some sort of finish line and run through it with my hands in the air. I have just finished a 536 page book. This is not unheard of for me, after all I've read all the Harry Potter books (Lucy, you slacker!), the Twilight series, and several other weighty tomes, but all those books had reasons, good solid reasons for being as wordy as they were (in my opinion). This book categorically did not. In fact, I think 200 pages could have been cut--easily--and no one would have been the wiser. I cannot for the life of me understand why some editor didn't wield her mighty pen and cut, cut, cut!
Now you may be wondering why, if the book was growing tedious, I continued. Two reasons: 1) I was intrigued by the storyline and I actually wanted to know what was going to happen (just 200 pages earlier, maybe even 250), and 2) Once I'd invested heaven knows how many hours in this book, I couldn't just toss them away. What can I say, I'm just like that.
It was my understanding that books were getting shorter, not longer. I've read (in several places) that publishers are looking for shorter books, that brevity is selling better. But so far this year I've read three really quite long books already. Admittedly they are from popular authors (even this last one), so maybe publishers are pushing their go-to authors to add a little more bang for the buck in each book. Who knows? All I can say is that I've been seething to finish this book, and now I have, and I'm ready to start on a much more compact YA I got from the library this week: Red Necklace. Both the cover and the review make it very tempting indeed:
From Booklist: "Scores are waiting to be settled on every page; this is a heart-stopper."
After the last book, I could use a little heart-stopping excitement.
Stay-tuned! On Wednesday I promise to review a must-read for Barrie Summy's Book Review Club!