Admirable Writing

The following creations have impressed me recently:

1. The Help by Kathryn Stockett.  This book surpassed my expectations because I did not anticipate the emotional extremes, the danger, and the tension that resulted from the Mississippi setting in the midst of civil rights action.  The carefully chosen characters interacting with the setting determined the subplots.  That Ms. Stockett also was able to lower the tension with some humor and then rebuild it was magnificent writing.  It was this good plotting  around great characters that made me stay up till 4AM to finish reading it.  It’s no surprise that the movie based on the book won Academy Awards.

2. Reamde by Neal Stephenson.  This thriller does not begin with the formulaic action scene but introduces characters and their relationships at a family reunion on an Iowa farm and ends a year later at the next peaceful reunion.  But the thousand pages in between are action all the way.  As in The Help the setting makes the story.  One minute you’re in the real geographical world of the mountainous wilds on the border with Canada shooting, escaping and chasing, or in Shanghai in China exploding, sailing, and kidnapping.   The next minute you’re in the virtual world of a popular game trying to stay alive and searching for gold that can be turned into real money in the real world.  The many characters run the gamut from an innocent girl to the cowboy type millionaire hero who saves her, complete with gun, to the most villainous villain who dies in the end.  All of the good guys and all of the bad guys have their quirks and their strengths and weaknesses.  It’s fun, but it wears you out with the constant action.  One of this writer’s best points for me was his wonderfully unexpected metaphors.  This is a man’s book all the way.

3. Do you love reading?  Have you seen the animated short that won the Oscar?  It’s called “The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore” and you can find it on YouTube.  Check it out.  You’ll love the life of Mr. Lessmore, and if you are a writer, watch for the words flying onto the page.  Happy, happy is the end.

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