« The Go-Go's and the Mystery | Main | Agatho's Grammar Tips »

September 02, 2011


Lexi Revellian

I reread my favourite books, and enjoy them as much or more as I did at first. Nick Hornby's 'About A Boy' made me so anxious all would end badly that the second reading, knowing things worked out okay, was much more of a pleasure.

What about thrillers like Jo Nesbo's, where the writing is poor and the characters unbelievable; I suppose it must be the shocks and twists that garner an enthusiastic readership?


No, I hate spoilers. For this reason I don't read the blurb of a novel until after I've finished it because all too often these brief summaries give away something that happens on p 200 - what's the point of reading the book (if it is a crime novel) if you know what's going to happen or some crucial twist?

I have to say that I do know people who turn to the back before they have read a book. to me this is like fingernails scratching down a blackboard, I can't bear to watch it!

Disagree with your commenter above about Jo Nesbo by the way. I am not 100 per cent keen on him but I am 80 per cent. Harry Hole is a pretty interesting character, I think, and the writing is fine for a crime novel (ie it is not intended to be a work of literature).

Pepper Smith

If I want a spoiler, I'll look at the back of the book--this however, is usually not a good thing, because it means the author hasn't managed to draw me in. I look in the back because I'm about to abandon the book and was just enough invested to want to know how it ended.

Otherwise, I'll read the blurb when deciding if I'll spend money on a book, but I don't want to know what's coming until I get there, and have been known to abandon books where the author gave away too much too soon.

And since mysteries are a game between the author and the reader, why would I a) want everything handed to me (which implies I'm too stupid to figure it out on my own), or b) want to treat readers of my novels as if I thought they were too stupid to pick up the clues and figure it out on their own?

Austin Carr

Just to cut some of the hostility, did anyone else see this on Facebook: "If my wife were a mystery writer, she'd be called Nag-a-tha Christie?"

Pepper Smith

Erm...you thought posting this where two female mystery authors had already posted replies was a good way of easing the hostility because....?

Pepper Smith

Oh, it's just Jack. Never mind.


No, no, no! I like to enter a story completely open to anything that might happen. (As a child, I wouldn't even read first-person stories, because it guaranteed the main character survived - no suspense.) I don't even particularly like prologues, if they're flash-forward scenes that give a peek ahead. For me, surprise is half the fun.

The comments to this entry are closed.