gillpolack: (Default)
I have to wonder why "high concept" is sometimes used as a term for "Far too little integration of ideas into narrative." I have a book with too many ideas and not enough understanding. The big stuff is well delineated. The book is dull.

I kinda expect the info dumping for a certain kind of historical fiction (not the kind I read or recommend, let me add, explanatorily), because the writer tries to inform me from the word go and really, if I want to be informed, I'll go elsewhere. I give the writer a hundred pages to demonstrate they can tell a story and, if they don't succeed, then I find something else to read. It's not as if I have too few books to choose from, after all.

That's what I'm doing with this book, but it's really become difficult. Each time an info-dumping sequence stops, I heave a sigh of relief and say "Now we have the understanding, the story can start properly." But no, there is a new scene and a slightly different method, but a whole new sequence of infodumping. So far, only one character is halfway to human, and he is the kind of person who bores me to mischief at dinner parties.

So this is not my dream book. It does remind me, however, that I promised quite a few people that I would write up what I have spent the last few years sorting while I wrote that dissertation. That whole acquiring-knowledge-and-transmuting-it-into-understanding-and-then-into-respectable-narrative thing. Just facing this almost-novel that I can't review, I can see why my students and ex-students are interested in seeing my approach in print. We'll see.

May 2013

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