On Writing, and a Book I Recently Read


“A good book is an event in my life.”
Stendhal

In my case, most all books I read are events in my life. Except for my college textbooks, of course. So when I picked up David Baldacci’s ‘Total Control’, I expected to be thrilled. I went through the movie trailer-equivalent at the back and that hooked me on. I have always been too easily attached to books.

Coming to the book, I hadn’t heard of Baldacci ever before and I was surprised at the number of copies the author’s intro proclaimed him to have sold. Also, a review on the front cover ranked him better than the likes of Grisham, Ludlum and even Patricia Cornwell. That obviously did more than enough to add one more to the number of copies sold.

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My copy. The review beside the man's image isn't clearly visible. Image Courtesy - My Instagram.

I actually finished the book quite a while back. A couple days before I published Chapter 3 and 4 of The Traitor Series. Interestingly, I feel he writes in a way I would like to. A way that I feel I’m slowly getting to. I said ‘interestingly’ because the only other writer’s writing that I have felt about the way I have felt about Baldacci’s is Roald Dahl’s.

Roald Dahl is my all-time favourite. I discovered his books, I think, when we were given one from school to study and answer a few questions based on it. In the few years that followed this assignment, I read almost all of Roald Dahl’s kids’ books. Later when I was around 13 I read a couple of his other books for older kids.

When I read Total Control, I noticed that, frequently, the writer uses the starting of chapters or even the gap between scenes to jump right into some action. He also likes to give long, often hair-raising descriptions. Both, are something that I try to do. And this instantly drew me to his writing. I certainly look forward to reading more of his works and it definitely helps that Total Control was just his second published book.

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