I have been wondering for a while why this book is so good. On the surface it appears to break the rules for writing compelling fiction: it tells much more than it shows, is not about a particularly (apparently) interesting character with an interesting career. Stoner, though undoubtedly an intellectual man, university professor, due to his limited EQ, and naivete, ends up not achieving anything spectacular. Yet, the narrative is rivetting. I found myself rooting for Stoner, getting angry and frustrated on his behalf, since he fails to do so for himself. Where he lets life wash over him, regardless, I the reader, felt angry, empassioned, frustrated and quite militant on his behalf.
Therein lies its strength, I think. Its ability to put the reader in a position of having to feel, having to be moved and enraged, because the protagonist does not.
I know I should be updating my content more often and sticking to my own rules. But this last couple of months have been so extraordinary I needed every second to let all the insights and ideas sink in.
Well, after a trip home to Ireland in November, Read More…
Sportsmen and women will all tell you that when they are exercising, there comes a moment when a new level of consciousness kicks in. A moment when that voice inside their head stops telling them to give up, that they cannot go on a moment longer, or worse still, that they never should have started in the first place. When that moment comes the body and mind unite and they develop a rhythm, not too fast, not too slow. Their breathing settles, and there is no doubt in their mind that they will reach that finish line, or see the clock hit the top of the hour, or that they will keep pumping till the music stops.
With writing it’s the same process. Read More…