Saturday, April 30, 2005

P.D. James

I'm reading a novel by P.D. James right now, Death in Holy Orders. And there are two things I notice about this book.

First of all, James is an over-writer. This book is so overwritten, you can never just lose yourself in the story; you're constantly being reminded "I'm reading something that was written by a writer".

This is one reason that I think Stephen King is so underrated - he might write books about vampires and aliens and stuff, but the books are written with realistic characters, and his writing never gets in the way of your reading. I can easily lose myself in a King novel, regardless of what ridiculous plot it has.

The other thing I'm noticing in this James novel, which has nothing to do with her and everything to do with the book publisher, is that they messed up when they printed it, and there are a bunch of unnecessarily hyphenated words - as if they used to be split across two lines, but then they changed the formatting of the book halfway through, and somehow forgot to unhyphenate them. I don't know what technology Random House (the publisher) used for this book, but it really surprises me that this happened.

Stuff like this:

Dalgliesh said, "I'd like to keep this diary, if I may. Father Sebas-tian may be right, it could be totally without significance, but it's an interesting document if one is considering the circumstances of Ronald Treeve's death."

Everywhere else in the book, that name "Sebastian" is spelled without the hyphen, but then for one instance it will inexplicably have one.