My friend Paula commented that she thought I wrote in the style of Wilkie Collins, never having read his work yet familiar the stories, I decided to read "The Moonstone" which is the story of a yellow diamond stolen from India.
I started with an open mind (as always) and was looking forward to a good read, however after a good start the story began to falter - for me - while I can appreciate the stylist approach used was popular in its day. To this reader the story dragged, an example being he took three pages describing the stripping and painting of a door and the effects of the temper used to set the paint.
I think giving the book 115 pages to keep my interest is fair; some books I can hardly put down, I have been known to read a book in a sitting, however this one I loathed to continue reading, as I could not get into the flow and wondered when something was going to happen.
The comparison with "The Scarlet Sword" by H.E.Bates may appear odd at first but I had the same ideas about that book as now. The difference being Bates' book was half the length and in the second half of the book the story did get to be exciting.
If you think I am being harsh, please consider I couldn't read "Catch-22" either although I have read and enjoyed books by Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn/ Graham Greene/ David Gemmell/ David Eddings/ Joseph Conrad/ Pat Barker/ Cherie Priest/ Michael Conelly and Clive Cussler to name a few. I consider myself to have a varied reading, this helps as a writer.
Another book which left me cold was the final work by Louis L'Amour, a respected western writer he may have been, but "The Lost Mesa" failed to hold my attention, the only reason I kept reading was because my late friend Faye had recommended the book to me. Again the start was great, with an unsolved mystery and a disappearance but after that the hero spent over 100 pages wandering the area thinking who was following and why, but nothing was moving the story.
I am loathe to stop as the story has a good reputation but at the same time -when do you say enough? The story has not engrossed for a long time, so I shall close the book and move on to another book tonight.