Friday, July 11, 2008

Musings on Doorstops.

What is is with authors these days that they seem to feel the need to write mighty tomes that you need a system of pulleys to read in bed without causing yourself injury?

Remember when a book that was more than 350 pages was considered thick? When the average was around 250 pages?

I've just finished reading a doorstop. It's was over 500 pages long. It could have been less than 400 pages and not really suffered. Sometimes it feels as if the author has thrown a bit of everything (including the kitchen sink) in effort to be worthy of the price the reader has to pay for the book. Sometimes more isn't more.

Even established writers who have developed a loyal following seem to be producing thicker and thicker books these days. Admittedly sometimes I don't mind: Reginald Hill recently wrote a 500 page plus book and I devoured every word, but he's rather exceptional.

Fortunately for me my next choice is just over 200 pages. Peter Corris' OPEN FILE. Not a spare word in sight. Every one of them used to tell the story and advance the plot.
What bliss.

So why authors writing longer books these days? Any and all theories welcome.

1 comment:

Kerrie said...

Didn't realise it was you talking on the blog over at Aust Crime Fiction Sunnie. I think editors are just not as tough on the writers as they used to be