I’ve been thinking lately about what it is that makes us (ie. the reading fraternity) read novels, and the answer is pretty obvious really. It’s because novels are about people, and the problems that confront them in life, and how they deal with them. It really doesn’t matter whether it’s Mrs. Bennett worrying about how she is going to marry off her five daughters, or Harry Potter working out how he is going to square up to his enemies; whether you are an ordinary person, or someone possessed of magical powers, it is the human qualities that a character has which makes us like/dislike them, and empathise with them or not. So one has to have good strong characters with whom the reader can in some way identify.
I’ve been very encouraged by the number of people who have read “The Brindavan Chronicle: Genesis” and not only said that they enjoyed it very much, but also said that they can’t wait for the second instalment. Almost everyone I’ve spoken to has found Govinda both fascinating and loathsome, and have expressed the sincere hope that he gets his come-uppance in “Nemesis”. I hope that they have found the other main characters interesting too, and I think that they must have because there is not much fun in seeing a “baddie” get his own way all the time – he (or she) has to have at least one worthy adversary.
And I regret to say that it is the absence of any characters with whom I can empathise that I just haven’t found any inclination to pick up Grisham’s “Gray Mountain” again and finish it. Sad.