Archive for October 8th, 2007

Of cocky stories and cock-ups

October 8, 2007

Well we are a nice way through Beautiful Lady (Author — Michael Allen in his ‘thriller’ guise of Patrick Read).
Rather moreish. The sort of story I am happy for my husband to read while I sit back and listen.

Many books do not read well aloud. In fact the sentence and paragraph structure is rather poor in many best sellers. But since they are often just hurried through, few people would notice. When reading aloud poor construction can affect the comprehension of what is taking place. In such cases, my husband misses out bits just as I used to when reading to him (in the days when my eyes could cope).
This has not been necessary with any of Allen’s books. It is not a case of dumbing down vocabulary and so on — definitely NOT. If anything Allen stretches my own vocabulary and I learn from his sentence structure too.

I have to admit that I annoy my husband because I take note of all these things (and interrupt to analyse) in ALL the books we read together. But then I am a writer willing to learn from what works well — he is just interested in the story.

Back to Beautiful Lady. Did those things really happen in the corridors of power and in the royal palaces of Great Britain during the years leading up to the Second World-War? My goodness, whether they did or not, Allen makes it seem not only possible but highly likely. Were many of the historical characters obsessed with sex (as well as with power) as Allen would have us believe? After all the revelations we have been getting in the media concerning certain political and royal figures (especially over the past few years) I should think it more than likely! Sex is, or can be, a motivating force on a par with the ‘food and drink’ necessities of life. Not only that, but it is used like a flavouring to promote and sell goods — including books!

I am not suggesting this is the case with Beautiful Lady, rather that Allen is not shy of relating the cock-ups brought about in history through the ruthless use of sex as a tool. Personally. I find some of it hilarious rather than titillating, rude or crude. (I say this as a writer who also embraces the whole of human experience in the telling of tales, only I am a bit shy of using words not in my own vocabulary. I am happier using euphemisms!)

Still half of the book to go and I am most intrigued as to what will happen on the next page, never mind the ending!