Sunday, July 27, 2014

Lazy Sunday Service

Yesterday I went to listen to talk by Declan Burke on 'emerald noir' at the Boyle Arts Festival.  As always he gave an entertaining presentation involving a couple of readings and giving his take on the development of Irish crime fiction over the past twenty years or so.  There was plenty of food for thought in his observations.  I particularly liked his discussion on 'value for time'.  Most readers, I think, would recognize that a book provides good value for money - several hours entertainment for €8-15.  But do books provide value for time?  That is, do they sustain their entertainment over those several hours given that there are lots of other things competing for one's attention, including other books, but also television, cinema, games, theatre, sports, etc.  Most of us have gotten some way into a book and started to lose interest, perhaps due to a weak plot or poor writing or the pace has become glacial.  We either soldier on stoically to the end or abandon it.  One of things Declan strives to do in his writing is to keep the reader's attention throughout, providing value for time that could be spent on something else.  It a valuable tip, I think.  And you can find out how good Declan is at achieving value for time by checking out his books.  Absolute Zero Cool was my top read of 2011.  His latest is Crime Always Pays, published by Severn House.

My posts this week
Review of Cross of Iron by Willi Heinrich
Review of Summertime, All the Cats are Bored by Philippe Georget
There's a new sheriff in town

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