Friday 17 December 2010

John Connolly

john connolly book reviews Darker, stranger, more violent than authors previously reviewed, I'm a great fan of John Connolly. As an author he has the necessary writing talents - descriptive powers, ability to structure and pace a novel; he also has an imagination, a feeling for evil and a flair for characters that put him above many other writers around today.

His works start with a story of savagery, betrayal, violence and revenge, and these are themes that stay with his novels. However, he increasingly introduces the metaphysical - real or imagined by the tortured characters? He achieves the very difficult feat of putting the real and the metaphysical worlds together, the crossing over of the latter into the real world being described almost matter of factly. These tales are more thriller than fantasy but the fantastic elements inform and influence the behaviours of the characters for good or evil.

Many writers are judged by the heroes they create: the really good writers produce foul and memorable villains. Connolly's heroes are deliberately flawed (as his novels progress we find out the dark past that shaped them). His villains are indeed foul and memorable - they don't just physically scare, they intimidate, they make neck hair stand up, they corrupt with their actions and even presence.

Will you like him? His books can be read as excellent thrillers or as thrillers plus. His writing is sharp, his plots believable and finely honed. Too savage for your mother, too adult/literary for a tabloid reader. As you read more of his books you'll become an increasingly devout fan or you'll stop after two. I recommend that you don't stop.

I do recommend though that you read them in the order written: so start with Every Dead Thing

Author's own site Quote from JC talking about various authors' responses to source of their ideas:

'There is the Lunatic Answer: "I channel them", which is more common than one might think. A very well-known literary writer, who had produced a huge bestseller told in the voice of a young girl, was asked at a festival how she came up with that voice, to which she answered: "I channelled her". Now, take it from me, people who say things like that are either one step away from tying their coats with string and walking down the street muttering about vegetables, or they're so far up themselves they can nearly see light again. No, you didn't channel her. You made her up. That's what fiction writers do. They make stuff up. Don't make it more complicated than it already is.'

Great article by John Connolly on Irish crime writing


Audrey Howitt aka Divalounger said...

I have not read his work yet. But I do like the darker side of the human psyche. Your review makes me curious.

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