Posts Tagged ‘debut novel’

I’m pleased to announce that I’ve already achieved one of my new year’s resolutions:  to read 41FVFZ2K1JL._SL160_PIsitb-sticker-arrow-dp,TopRight,12,-18_SH30_OU02_AA160_[1]something from the crime fiction genre. I generally steer clear of murders and forensics unless it’s by Kate Atkinson, and then I read more for her spot-on characterisations than because Jackson Brodie is an ex-policeman.  ‘Mystic River’ by Dennis Lehane was recommended by a friend as one to try, and I finished it last week having thoroughly enjoyed the writing, although the cover – purple with embossed silver text – would normally have sent me running for the hills in favour of something more aesthetic. How shallow is that – and how many potentially good reads have I missed because of my pretentious selection process.

So, now I’m reading ‘The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry’, a debut novel by Rachel Joyce.51f6yKkUebL._SL160_PIsitb-sticker-arrow-dp,TopRight,12,-18_SH30_OU02_AA160_[1]

It ticks all my boxes – quirky title; good cover design; intriguing synopsis. Or so I thought. This is what is written on the back cover:

“When Harold Fry nips out one morning to post a letter, leaving his wife hoovering upstairs, he has no idea that he is about to walk from one end of the country to the other. He has no hiking boots or map, let alone a compass, waterproof or mobile phone. All he knows is that he must keep walking. To save someone else’s life.”

So I was a little surprised when, on page 16, it clearly states that:

“It was past eleven o’clock. He lifted his waterproof jacket from the peg where Maureen liked him to hang it.”

And again on page 124:

“There was no hiding. The rain shot at Harold’s waterproof jacket and down his neck, and even up the elasticated rims of his sleeves.”

I’m disappointed. It has completely ruined the book for me – I can’t get past my annoyance at the lack of attention to detail. Who writes these things? Do they actually read the book? This is a crime against fiction on a monumental scale. Rachel Joyce has put her heart and the soles of Harold Fry’s unsuitable shoes into writing this and if I were her, I’d be outraged.

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