Since then I've started Hilary Mantel's Booker-prize winning novel Wolf Hall, a historical novel set in the time of Henry VIII and following the life of Thomas Cromwell. While it is well plotted and the setting is detailed and believable, there's one thing that Mantel keeps doing that is driving me nuts. The book is told in third-person, from Cromwell's POV, and sometimes she'll be mentioning another character and will go on and say "he" did something, and a few paras on, I'll realise it's not the character she was talking about before the "he", but Cromwell. Then I have to go back and reread the passage because the pronoun reference wasn't clear. I don't know about anyone else, but I think sentences and paragraphs should be instantly clear -- they shouldn't need to be read twice for the reader to know what is happening. Maybe I'm just reading the text too closely . . . Maybe, I should just chill out and run with it. I do have to say I am otherwise enjoying it, but this little -- well, it's not exactly a stylistic glitch -- problem keeps ripping me out of the story. Maybe she should have bolded the pronoun, and then perhaps I'd know . . .
01 September 2010
More on reading . . .
I've just finished Kirstyn McDermott's Madigan Mine, a deliciously dark and immersive read with great characters (not all of whom are likeable) and enough twists in the plot to keep me guessing. The book opens with Madigan's funeral and from page one I was hooked. The strong characterisation and intimate viewpoint make for a compelling read -- just watch out if you have other stuff you should be doing, because I couldn't put the book down. I'm not usually a reader of paranormal thrillers, but this book could turn me onto them. Highly recommended.