Wednesday, August 10, 2011

When The Thrill Is Gone Toward You

Read two books: When The Thrill Is Gone by Walter Mosley and Toward You by Jim Krusoe.

Having lived in both Los Angeles and New York city, Mosley is well aware of homeless citizens and almost always throws one, often more) into his novels. When The Thrill Is Gone is the third in his new detective mystery series starring Leonid McGill. My book review of Known To Evil will tell you more about the detective's trials and tribulations. Even if you are not interested, I could use page views, thank you very much.

In When The Thrill Is Gone a homeless man goes berserk hitting a woman on the back of her neck with a rock killing her. The guy quickly disappears in the crowd of walkers and is never found. The dead woman was the second wife of a very rich man to die causing his third wife, thus McGill to think the homeless guy was hired to kill wife number two. It is mentioned that a woman character lived in shelters or was often homeless.

Will not be writing a book review on this one due to it being my last day of at home Internet service. See next post.

A mother tells her daughter that they may have to live in a homeless shelter in Toward You. The short novel had a good start, drew me in and kept me reading. Mid-way my interest in the story began to fade. I was in a hurry to get to the end to find out if the Communicator worked, if the unlikely hero would reunite with an old flame and so on. In a hurry to get past the middle, wondering when I would be reading about the interesting conversations picked up from the Great Beyond.

Toward You has a quote posted prior to story as many novels do. The gist is that someone, even as I type, is hurling towards you, with an important message. Call it fate, that two unlikely people will meet someday changing the course of one of their lives. I, of course, like to believe in that kind of mystical stuff, so the book promised to be a great read. It had an almost comic tone to it, though presented as a serious novel.

I wanted to toss the book across the room when I got to the end. The word "cliffhanger" comes to mind, but to best of my knowledge there will be no sequel to Toward You.

Perhaps this needs one of those spoiler alert warnings right here. I have been reading about the craft of writing ever since daughter Dawn won a New Jersey state writing competition. A subscription to a writers' magazine was part of her prize. Maybe she was 2nd or 3rd place, no longer remember. A basic thing learned that be it college term paper, news article or novel, the author's job is to pose a question at the start and answer it at the end.

Everything in between is to lead the reader through reasoning or proof of the conclusion. Something like that. It may not be a question. Could be a conflict or problem is solved by end of reading whatever it is one reads.  Can not say I ever imagined the star hanging on to the edge of cliff by fingertips at the end of story, be it TV series, movie or book. That is how Toward You ended. No answers. Not even sure what happened. Some of it a reader can guess at, such as the identity of fire-setter called The Park Ranger by local press.

And the reader could be wrong, just as likely the lonely cop is the psycho. The reader is left to write their own ending to the tale. If only the ending had been clearer as to what happened to the main character. I could write a book review on this one, but it would be one star and discouraging anyone from reading it.

Just one more thing...

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