16 June 2008

Suffering from Big-Book-itis

I have decided that I must be suffering from the syndrome of the big book. Certainly it is amazing I am not suffering from RSI!

Currently I'm reading Elizabeth George's CARELESS IN RED. I've been reading it for most of the last week - unusual for me. The format is trade paperback, and it weighs in at 532 pages.

Before that SHATTER by Michael Robotham was a mere 466 pages.
A CURE FOR ALL DISEASES by Reginald Hill, 533 pages
NEMESIS by Jo Nesbo, 474 pages

Waiting in the wings:
ALIBI by Sydney Bauer, 504 pages
WASH THIS BLOOD CLEAN FROM MY HANDS, Fred Vargas, 546 pages.
Admittedly the latter in is large print format.

They all make the next I intend reading, Jame Lee Burke's THE TIN ROOF BLOWDOWN, look positively thin at a mere 373 pages. I'm tempted to ignore them all and read MURDER ON THE EIFFEL TOWER by Claude Izner just because it's got less than 300 pages!

One of the things that I've noticed with these "big" books: they are usually what I would call multi-plot books. There's a main plot and lots of sub-plots all of which eventually converge more or less together. Neither does the author confine himself/herself to the minimum of description. It's as if, having settled on writing a big book, they now no longer feel confined to being economical with words. I wonder too how much has been edited out? The mind boggles at how big it could have been.
Has the time of the slim novel passed? The smallest I can remember reading recently was a Donna Leon. They always seem to come in at about 250 pages.

Anyway, this is not getting the reading done. Back to CARELESS IN RED!

2 comments:

Maxine said...

When you've finished that lot, you shoud try The Murder Farm, Kerrie. (Andrea Maria Schenkel). You could get up, start it, and finish it before breakfast!

Looking forward to reading what you make of the Eliz George.

Peter Rozovsky said...

You could read the hefty Girl With the Dragon Tattoo as well. For something short, you might try Carlo Lucarelli's splendid De Luca trilogy, the three of which combines have fewer pages than any of the titles you up tot he James Lee Burke.
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