This is one of the first books that I have received from a publisher for review. I find it interesting that via the book tours and the publisher submissions that I am being introduced to such different genres of novels…. definitely ones that I’d never pick out from the bookstore shelves myself.
This book is definitely eclectic. It’s different from the other types of books that I have read and I find it a bit difficult to review… for the lack of comparison to other works of a similar nature. But, what you don’t know is what stretches you, I believe.
Title: Being Written, A Novel
Author: William Conescu
Publisher: Harper Perennial/Harper Collins
Author Website: www.williamconescu.com
Publisher Website: www.harperperennial.com
Pages (Paperback): 193
ISBN #: 978-0-06-145134-8
This is a very interesting story… told from, I believe, the second person point of view. Although, in the beginning of the book, I wasn’t exactly sure if it was written in first person from the narrator’s viewpoint. I, at first, believed that the protagonist of the story was the author of the story, Daniel. I later changed my mind to believe that Delia, the love interest was my protagonist.
Daniel, an aspiring writer, believes that he is actually a character in a book that is being written. Simultaneously, he is the author of the same story that unfolds around him. What the reader discovers is that the story doesn’t necessarily “unfold around him.” Rather, his actions tend to affect the direction of the story in the way he intends it to play out.
The main characters of the story are as follows:
Daniel, the “author” and main “character” of the story… is he insane? Or insightful?
Delia, the “love interest” in the story… a beautiful singer from a wealthy family. She is in a dysfunctional relationship with a man who prostitutes himself with other men to pay his share of the rent.
Graham, Delia’s boyfriend… the man-whore who only takes the dominant role in his “prostitution” ways.
Monty, Delia’s friend.. an eclectic, yet insightful friend.
Jon, Delia and Graham’s gay friend… most likely more so a friend to Graham.
These characters intertwine and Daniel’s actions tend to advance the lives, or rather yet, alter the lives of these characters. He sees his actions as components of the story that is being written, the one that he is a part of, rather than a direct result of his actions. Simply, although he attempts to write, he in actuality hears the sound of a writer’s pencil scratching paper writing the story about his life (and the other characters’ lives) as he lives it out day by day…. almost as if his actions were led by the writer of the novel and not his own. I know this is difficult to grasp in reading a review, but the book does a much better job of explaining this than I do. You understand the approach in the novel as it unfolds.
In attempts to not be a “spoiler” of the story, I will, once again, avoid discussing the ending of this novel. Although, I must say that the last 1/3 of the novel was miles above the first two-thirds of it, as far as grabbing my attention and keeping it there.
It’s a short novel, and if you are interested in a different approach to writing and story telling, it’s a quick read and one that is interesting to know. If you are more the type of the “classical reader,” this may not be your taste. Like I said, it’s a hard book to review… at least, for me. But it did expand my horizons to think about the possibilities that writing a novel could bring to your world.
All of my other reviews contain my “favorite quotes” or “favorite sections” of the work. Due to the nature of this book, I can’t offer that in this review. Although, there are cleverly written scenes and very descriptive narrations of the characters and their lives. It’s more of a “read it and you’ll see” type of book.
Sher’s “Out of Ten Scale:”
Automatically, I feel that I’m at a disadvantage to rate this book in comparison to the others that I have reviewed on my site. There are definitely good components to this work that make be glad that I read it… however, because it is so different than what I am used to… I tend to want to give it a rather “average” score. That’s not entirely fair to the author, who I believe, is far more creative than I to come up with the approach that he did in writing this book.
The other issue is that, I have always given a ranking in my reviews. If I neglect to do so for this, I wouldn’t be true to myself, my readers, or the publisher who sent me this book to read. Therefore, I’ve decided to rate it on my scale as follows: I give it a 6 for overall content and read-ability. I give it an 8 for originality.