Thoughts of an obsessive-compulsive mind

Goodreads review: Zodiac

Zodiac by Robert Graysmith My rating: 3 of 5 stars Zodiac ranks only behind 1) In Cold Blood and 2) Helter Skelter in terms of influence over the subgenre of true-crime. Zodiac is exhaustingly researched, which you should expect: It took author Robert Graysmith eight years to research and write. I definitely appreciate Graysmith's due … Continue reading Goodreads review: Zodiac

Goodreads review: The Mad Trapper of Rat River

The Mad Trapper of Rat River: A True Story of Canada's Biggest Manhunt by Dick North My rating: 3 of 5 stars View all my reviews This book may appear to be insubstantial physically but true historical crime is not an easy genre to write and author Dick North clearly went to great lengths to … Continue reading Goodreads review: The Mad Trapper of Rat River

Examining the concept of the Great American Novel

The other day in writing about how the publishing industry has marginalized the value of the novella, I mentioned two books as being the seminal American books: Norman Mailer's The Executioner's Song and John Steinbeck's East of Eden. I stand by that claim but I want to elaborate on the idea of the Great American Novel, a concept long discussed … Continue reading Examining the concept of the Great American Novel

The necessity of getting your work out there

The first of my work I tried to get published through a literary agent was Regression. It was the first novel I'd written, completed, edited, and was satisfied with and confident could get published. Obviously that didn't happen. I'm not bitter but naturally that rejection was difficult. Since then I've become used to rejection, to criticism--as … Continue reading The necessity of getting your work out there

The universality of Tom Ripley

I'm writing this to tell you a little about myself and more to encourage you to read the Ripley series--known by fans as 'the Ripliad'--by Patricia Highsmith. As is interestingly posited on Amazon's pages for the five Ripley books, Tom Ripley "is an unmistakable descendant of Gatsby, that 'penniless young man without a past' who will … Continue reading The universality of Tom Ripley

The many problems with the novel and why we need more novellas (Part 2)

Continuing from part 1 I’ve read books of behemoth lengths: The Executioner’s Song, the seminal American novel (more on that to come in a future post), Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell (a flawed but overall enjoyable Harry Potter alternative), and East of Eden (on par with The Executioner’s Song as being the quintessential American novel, … Continue reading The many problems with the novel and why we need more novellas (Part 2)

The many problems with the novel and why we need more novellas (Part 1)

(Full disclosure: As I write this, I'm listening to Elton John, specifically "Tiny Dancer," but the songs will change as I continue) I've written fiction since I was in second grade. As I got older, I worried about the length of my works (men always worry about the length of one thing or another). I'd … Continue reading The many problems with the novel and why we need more novellas (Part 1)