Saturday, August 18, 2012

Customer services

I felt obliged to contribute the following comment to the facebook page of novelist Harlan Coben. Please do not make my mistake of following this sordid path of addiction. 

Mr Coben. You may well feel self-satisfied each day as you study your bank statement or stare out across the vast acres of your estate, but I think it is time to draw attention that your success is accumulated by exploiting the health of those, such as me, who lose sleep reading your works. Last night I was kept awake until 1 a.m. finishing one of your books. How am I meant to function today? I had planned to watch a rugby international, and a full day's cricket. I doubt whether I will be able to stay awake through it all. As you recline on your couch, stuffed with 20 dollar bills, and have your entourage of young assistants massage away the stress of worrying what you are going to buy next, spare a thought for those of us, elderly, sleep deprived addicts who make your exuberant life style possible. Consider, if you will, the novelist Ms Cornwell. She manages to make a tidy living without ever disturbing her readers. They know from the outset, that in the climax to the book, her heroine is going to be tracked down by the villain, almost killed, and only saved by some arbitrary intervention. There is no need at, say, 10:30 p.m. to think "I wonder what happens next?" because it is the same in all the rest of her books. You, on the other hand, seem to think it necessary to combine wordcraft, humour and originality in your tales. It really won't do.


Z said...

You've read all Patricia Cornwell's books? Congratulations, Vicus, you have more fortitude than I have.

Vicus Scurra said...

I may have stretched the truth a little, Z. It just seemed that by the time I got to the third or fourth I had mistakenly picked up an earlier work. Please forgive me.

Indigo Roth said...

Vicus, old boy!

Now you see, this is just the kind of thing I need at the other end of the day. Bleary-eyed, I am now awake and smiling. Damn you!

By the way, you may find that you enjoy my work late in the evening. It's colourful and unpredictable, but far shorter than a novel. And there will be none of that pesky parting with cash involved.

My estate and outlook are sufficiently well-stuffed already.

By the way, did I miss the cricket?!


Rol said...

That was almost positive. You're obviously slipping.

Louise like Harlan Coben. I suppose I ought to pick one up off the bookshelf.

Teresa Evangeline said...

Now, you've gone and done it. I can resist anything but temptation, so it's off to the library I go (I must read a book with paper in my gnarly hands). Well-done.

Vicus Scurra said...

Indigo. I enjoy your work throughout the day. I cannot tell whether you missed the cricket, the particular cricket to which you refer, or in what sense you "missed" it.

Rol. Please clarify whether it was a book or Louise that you ought to pick up from the shelf.

Teresa. Yes. Do read his books, they are jolly good, and very easy to read.

FirstNations said...

Oh sweetheart...Patricia Cornwell? Here in the U.S. they hand you a copy of 'Body Farm' before wheeling you in to have surgery.

Vicus Scurra said...

FN. You are truly lovely.

Scarlet Blue said...

I believe I will be adding to Mr Coben's fortune.

Roses said...

I've been looking for a replacement for Patricia Cornwall for some time. Jeffrey Deaver disappointed by always having a sting in the tail to the point where I used to pick the most unlikely culprit and to find I was right.

There are few writers worth losing sleep over, I look forward to Mr Coben.

Vicus Scurra said...

Coben is a really good story teller, and easy to read, if you want a really good writer for the thriller/detective genre then James Lee Burke is the man. Stunning writer.