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.