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What can be said about plot that the editorial review hasn't covered for this book? Plenty. But I'm going to leave that for the reader to discover, as I did, many years ago. Instead, I'd like to discuss how fitting it is that this novel has returned for a whole new generation to discover. You see, good writing never really dies. Sure, a book may fall off the charts as sales may taper off. Maybe a library decides to withdraw the book from circulation because it hasn't been checked out as much as others. But for those of us who have read a good book, none of that matters. The book lives on in our memory. It becomes a part of us, just as the writer in Dead Lines becomes part of the fabric of the apartment he kills himself in. We may not even be aware that it resides in us, perhaps asserting itself in small doses, or coming on as a flood. We keep the book alive. Once the idea is out of the writer's head and onto the shelves, we are the pulse. Again, it's fitting that a reader's obsession with hidden stories provides the life blood to bring the writer back from the beyond in Dead Lines. It's a natural. The reader provides the life. Without the reader, a story is nothing but dead lines - literally. And what a fantastic concept for the perfect wraparound story for what was an incredibly original idea: a "Novelogy".
What better way to package a number of unconnected short stories than to devise a way to connect them? The idea seems simple, in retrospect, but it had never been done before. Not like this. The concept is executed brilliantly. Here, Skipp and Spector present stories that, on their own, would have been heavy hitters. Presented within the format of Dead Lines, each one becomes a home run. This book was one of my very first exposures to the wordcraft of Skipp & Spector. I've carried the impact of that first read-through for decades. It's been lurking somewhere within me, and all the others who've read it...and it's been waiting. Waiting for the time to rise up again and scare the bejabbers out of a whole new audience. The time has come. Good writing never dies. Buy Dead Lines now and BE THE PULSE!
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Posted May 30, 2011
Posted May 20, 2011
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