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Showing posts from February, 2016

Review: A History of Loneliness

A History of Loneliness by John Boyne
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

This had to be one of the more infuriating books I have ever read. Is it possible such a clueless person could ever have existed? Odran is written so well by John Boyne that I ended up hating the book . Some other reviewers have speculated that Boyne's creation of the willfully ignorant Odran was due to his underestimating the intelligence of his reader. But I don't think that's true. I think he did it on purpose and it's illustrated by Odran's father that last day at the breakfast table. If Odran really were as stupid as he made himself out to be as an adult, then he never would have grown to an adult in the first place. He would have gone with his father to the beach and died with him there. But he didn't. He sensed the danger. He saw it just as clearly as I did. His father intended to murder him. It was obvious in every word, every action, even to a child. Perhaps it was survivor's guilt that …

Fear and the Toll It Takes

Fear is a funny thing and presents itself in odd ways. When we think of fiction, we imagine fear to present itself in dramatic ways along the lines of PTSD—hyper vigilance, panic attacks, explosive temper, stockpiling weapons in the house, etc. But that type of thinking is fairly limiting, especially for writers of genres that don't include stalkers, wars, or murder mysteries. Everyone is afraid of something and it is not necessarily violence. Regardless of that fear—big or small—it manifests itself in a person. The question for you as an author is how will that fear manifest itself in your character.

Here's an example from my own life, one that still astounds me. This time last year, I was thin and fit. I worked out four times a week and, though I wasn't on a diet per se, I was mindful to watch my intake of sweets. Then, one night, I woke up from a deep sleep covered in sweat. I was shaking, nauseated, yet desperately hungry. When I got out of bed, I was so dizzy I could…