I have a bone to pick with the author, Lisa Unger. Basically, it’s this: How dare she write such a good book?
I not only write fiction I read it. All the time. Tons of it. If I could get paid to be a professional reader, I’d take the job. Unfortunately, the downside to that job is that my major complaint would be the same as it is now. There just aren’t that many really good books out there. I mean, there are good books, don’t get me wrong. There are some pretty good books. But there’s also a high percentage of mediocre books. So-so books. Ho-hum books. Boring books. You get the idea. There’s a lot of crap that gets published, in my opinion.
Now then, it seems to me, that there was a time in my memory where I read a lot more good books. Really good books. Books I couldn’t put down. Either the books are getting worse or I’ve become more discerning in my old age, but the “this book is so good I can’t put it down” behavior rarely happens to me any more. Very rarely.
What I’ve noticed of late is how impatient I’ve become when I’m reading a work of recently published fiction. I often develop this attitude of, “Come on, already, get to the point.” Or “Is anything interesting ever going to happen?” Or my least favorite, “What is this book even about?” In other words, I find most of the books I read very easy to put down. And not because I’m tired of reading necessarily. I’m just tired of reading that book.
With the holidays, I’ve sort of been pressed for time. I have a manuscript on which I’m doing a read-through and edit. Another one I’m writing. Another one I’m reading for a friend. That’s what I’m supposed to be doing. But this past weekend, when I had plenty of free time to work on the editing of my own manuscript, which is what I should be doing, what did I do? I kept picking up Lisa Unger’s BLACK OUT. I’ve decided she’s bad for my writing career because I’m like finally, a really good book. A book I don’t want to put down. I did put it down. I’d work on my own stuff for awhile. The problem was I kept picking Lisa’s book back up. I finished it last night. This is the third book of hers I’ve read, as a matter of fact. They were all good. If you like psychological suspense, read her. If you have work of your own you need to concentrate on, don’t pick up one of her books.
So now I’ve started reading a new book. I can tell already, even though I’m only a few pages into it, it’s going to be easy to put down. It’ll probably be an okay book. Maybe a good book. Even if it’s not I’ve given myself something to look forward to. I have another Lisa Unger book to read. It’s buried on the bottom of the pile so I won’t be tempted. Because I have my own book to finish first.