May 19, 2009

The book post that never was.

"Town is fearfully dull, except for the frequent raids of the Servant Girl Annihilators, who make things lively in the dull hours of the night...."
I tried to read A Twist at the End by Steven Saylor, I did try.

The subject matter is fascinating. It's set in Austin in 1885, when the entire city was living in terror of it's very own serial killer (three years before Jack the Ripper stalked London), the Servant Girl Annihilator. I've thought for a while that time and place would be a great setting for a novel, and then I found out someone had already written it. So I was somewhat psyched to read A Twist at the End, despite the mediocre Amazon reviews.

But it is a fat book. 576 pages. Although I don't object to a long book, I object to a boring book. And only a handful of pages into the first chapter, we meet the Exposition Fairy. For the non-TV or video game addicted: the Exposition Fairy is the character that helpfully explains to the audience whatever back-story is necessary to the scene that couldn't fit into the "Previously on..." This is almost always done as awkward conversation that doesn't at all resemble conversation heard in real life. I can deal with the Exposition Fairy on television shows (though voiceovers, like on "My So-Called Life" and "Veronica Mars" make for much better exposition- in case any TV producers are reading) I object to having them appear in the first chapter of a murderously long book. It just comes off as hacky.

That's a lot of annoyance to plow through. So instead of dreading it, and avoiding it, I just quit. 576 pages people. I'd rather read Twilight for the 59th time.

I may shelve this and come back to it later. If I ever run out of vampires romances.

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