RARA-AVIS: Long Books

From: abc@wt.net
Date: 09 Feb 2000

It's not just hardboiled books that have gotten too long. I'm not going into a long rant here, but I've been complaining about this ever since Dick Francis hit the bestseller list with his first doorstop. And it's the publishers, not the writers. Publishers believe (and they may be right) that readers want long books. Some writers can buck the trend. Robert B. Parker is one of them. But his publishers give his books what I now call "the Parker treatment": thick pages, wide margins, lots of blank pages at the ends of chapters, and very big print. So the books appear to be 100,000 worders when they're probably around 60,000. And you'll notice that when people are trying to "break out of category," their books get longer. Anyone want to bet the Bob Crais' new DEMOLITION ANGEL isn't a lot longer than the Elvis Cole books? (And was L. A. REQUIEM longer than the earlier ones?) This has already gotten longer than I'd intended. I'll go quietly.

Bill Crider

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