Welcome to Biting-Edge, a blog shared by authors and vampire experts, Mario Acevedo and Jeanne Stein. We’ll cover urban fantasy, vampires, pop culture, and all things Joss Whedon. Unlike other fantasy blogs, we don’t insist on body cavity searches (unless you ask politely). Snarkiness is most welcome...though we won't promise not to bite back!

Sunday, October 07, 2012
  When the Big Man grins...
Mario here:

I've been reading a lot of novels lately in a variety of genres as I try to pin down what makes a good read "good."

What complicates the process is what we determine as "good" is so subjective. Almost all of what I've read lately is not just good, but damn good. Humbling good. Among the titles:

Thread of Hope, by Jeff Shelby

                                          The Financial Lives of the Poets, by Jess Walter











Citizen Vince, also by Jess Walter

                                                                              Wool, by Hugh Howey








Consent to Kill, by Vince Flynn

                                               In Pharaoh's Army, by Tobias Wolf (a memoir)









Then just this weekend I finished (more or less) one book that screwed my mood. The novel was by an award-winning author--recipient of an NEA grant and a Guggenheim Fellowship--and featured lost love and a man scarred by war. With those credentials, I was expecting to be blown away. What could go wrong? Plenty, unfortunately. The narrative read like a first draft. The author was blurbed by the usual suspects and the book's Kirkus Starred review praised it for "extraordinary language." I must have missed something or read a different book by the same title. Jess Walter and Tobias Wolf ka-powed me with their mastery of prose. For a literary writer, the guy in question was a lazy hack.

In another blog exploring the magical sprouting of a breakout book, an agent was quoted as saying, "and then God smiled." In other words, "a miracle occurred." I don't want to slight another author for their success--bad karma and all that--and if someone hits the jackpot, good luck to them.

Still, I wish God wasn't so stingy with his smiles. I know of plenty of good great outstanding writers who have not been given the attention they deserve. Meanwhile, other less talented scribes get heaped with praise and sales. We have the hoopla over Shades of Grey. What puzzles me is all the media carnival about the sexual content, as if no one else had ever written erotica before. Well, here's a nod and a wave of the stinky finger to my naughty and successful writer pals, Lorelei James, Lauren Dane, and Megan Hart.


And this week, on October 9 to be precise, is the release date for Daniel Marks' (né Mark Henry) amazing YA novel, Velveteen. Don't believe me, read this review. Buy bunches of copies. The hardback looks gorgeous. Hate to say this of anything regarding Mark Henry (I mean, have you ever met the guy? It's like visiting the monkey cage at the zoo.), but I'm jealous.

Labels: , , , , , , , ,

 
Comments:
It does make one wonder about (paid) positive reviews. I've noticed the same thing.

Oh, and I've read the Wool Omnibus. A great story and the writing is worthy of the attention it has been getting. I'll check out some of the other titles you mentioned.

I guess, there's no accounting for taste.
 
tmso: Thanks for posting. I followed your profile to Comic Crits.<-will blog that. I don't think the book in question had paid reviews, but it was the usual reviewers singing the usual praise over a book I found mediocre.
 
Post a Comment

Links to this post:

Create a Link



<< Home
www.marioacevedo.com
jeanniestein.com

Biting Edge - Blogged


Marta Acosta
Vampiress.ca
Zombie Defense Tactics
L.A. Banks
Robin Brande
Douglas Clegg
Mary Janice Davidson
Midnight Moon Cafe
P.N. Elrod
Christine Feehan
Andrew Fox
Jasper Fforde
Neil Gaiman
Laurell K. Hamilton
Charlaine Harris
Charlie Huston
Sherrilyn Kenyon
The Midnight Hour
First Offenders
Christopher Moore
Susan Squires
Storytellers Unplugged
Carrie Vaughn
Lynn Viehl
Chelsea Quinn Yarbro


Agent Query
AOL Bookmaven
Bookmouth
Bookseller Chick
Bronze Word
GalleyCat
Guide to Literary Agents
Grumpy Old Bookman
Marcela Landres
Miss Snark
The Neglected Books Page
Preditors and Editors
Pub Rants
Publishers Lunch
Slushpile
Latino Stories


Alt Vampires
Love Vampires Reviews
Bite Me Magazine
Borderlands Bookstore
Dark Carnival Bookstore
Dark Hunter
Horror Writers Assoc.
Kaleighbug Books
Locus Magazine
Mysterious Galaxy Bookstore
Paranormal Fiction
Paranormality Universe
Realm of the Vampires
Science Fiction & Fantasy Writers Net
Undead Update
Vampire Genre
Vampire HQ
The Vampire Library
Vampires Vault
Vampress
Vamprowler
Vampyres Online



ARCHIVES
March 2006 / April 2006 / May 2006 / June 2006 / July 2006 / August 2006 / September 2006 / October 2006 / November 2006 / December 2006 / January 2007 / February 2007 / March 2007 / April 2007 / May 2007 / June 2007 / July 2007 / August 2007 / September 2007 / October 2007 / November 2007 / December 2007 / January 2008 / February 2008 / March 2008 / April 2008 / May 2008 / June 2008 / July 2008 / August 2008 / September 2008 / October 2008 / November 2008 / December 2008 / January 2009 / February 2009 / March 2009 / April 2009 / May 2009 / June 2009 / July 2009 / August 2009 / September 2009 / October 2009 / November 2009 / December 2009 / January 2010 / February 2010 / March 2010 / April 2010 / May 2010 / June 2010 / July 2010 / August 2010 / September 2010 / October 2010 / November 2010 / December 2010 / January 2011 / February 2011 / March 2011 / April 2011 / May 2011 / June 2011 / July 2011 / August 2011 / September 2011 / October 2011 / November 2011 / December 2011 / January 2012 / February 2012 / March 2012 / April 2012 / May 2012 / June 2012 / July 2012 / August 2012 / September 2012 / October 2012 / November 2012 / December 2012 / January 2013 / February 2013 / March 2013 / April 2013 / May 2013 / June 2013 / July 2013 /


Powered by Blogger