What’s in a Name?
*Caution: This may contain spoilers*
One of the most difficult things for the self-published writer is to become known to the public at large. Short of some agent or publisher stumbling across the book (a one-in-a-million chance), and then liking it (add another million), and then deciding to take it on (add a zillion), it’s going to be a long, slow process.
Once you’ve become known, however, it’s a completely different story. I’ve been a fan of John Grisham almost from the start: he writes intriguing stories almost always with a legal backdrop – and legal issues appeal to the retired lawyer in me. So when I saw a book of his I hadn’t heard of (“Gray Mountain”) at half-price in a local supermarket I naturally bought it. (I really ought to have wondered why a best-selling author’s book was being so generously discounted.)
I’m sorry to say, John, but the book is a complete turn-off: I’ve had it for a month now, and read a page or two when I’ve nothing better to do, and it remains a big question whether I shall ever finish it. The background of the story is promising: lawyers helping little guys take on big multi-nationals. But the only character who is really interesting – the guy taking on the corporations – gets killed off half-way through, and the rest of the cast is pretty one-dimensional. The story seems to meander without ever seeming to get anywhere. But what the hell! I knew the name, I bought the book, and I guess from the publishers’ point of view, that’s all that matters.