Two years ago I met a writer-hopeful through mutual friends. The person had a strong background in technical writing and hoped to branch out into fiction. We kept in touch with occasional, “Hi, how’s it going?” e-mails. I found the person charming and witty.
Last week I had a chance to read their first book. Reading it was a classic case of like the author, couldn’t make it through the book. In a word, boring.
I am such a coward. Right now I have anonymity because they don’t know I’ve read the book, but I cringe at the thought of another, “Hi, how’s it going?” message, or even worse a “Will you review my book?” message.
I hate the cop-out of I have this, that, and the other thing going on, so I can’t review your book. I mean, how much time does a book review take?
When I was younger, I wished for the acerbic wit of the humorist who wrote in a recommendation, “If you can get this person to work for you, you will be truly fortunate.”
Now I know that a person’s feelings are far too important for off-the-cuff humor. I wish there was a kind and generous way to say, “You’re a terrific person; the book sucks.”
So far, I haven’t found it.
Quote for the week
It is a great thing to know the season for speech and the season for silence.
~Seneca, Roman philosopher, statesman, dramatist