Monday, March 28, 2011

Reading matters

I have always enjoyed Hill's books and not having lived in Britain for so long I haven't had to deal with the television adaptations of the Dalziel and Pascoe series.

For this reason Reginald Hill's characters exist for me exclusively on paper and visualization takes place only in my head.

The Woodcutter is a character whose stature would certainly spring the limits of the flickering screen. My impression is that Hill had great fun writing this figure and, indeed, with the whole book. The 'reveals' in the various plot strands are perfectly dosed... at least until shortly before the end. 

Now I have not yet read any reader comments on Amazon, but it will interest me to see if any others suggest that the writer's enjoyment of his evolving storytelling may have lead him to a situation in which he had the sudden realization that getting the tale to a satisfying conclusion could be tricky.

This would explain the very atmospheric but slightly odd prefatory chapters.

And it would reinforce my suspicion that the relatively under-developed Russian criminal figure was introduced only in a closing phase of the overall writing process.

Possibly my opinion in this regard is very subjective, since I face such a predicament with my latest manuscript!


"The addition of the Russian character... is so blatantly a filler that readers would gasp and ask if Mr. Hill had to resort to this kind of a trick to push the book to 500 plus pages?"

So an Amazon reader spotted the same flaw, but gives is a different motivation. I prefer my own theory!

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