This week during our twelve hours in the car I enjoyed reading The Candy Shop War by Brandon Mull and book #1 and #2 of The Ranger’s Apprentice Series by John Flanagan. And I have to say that what I learned from my reading this week is that smooth writing is highly underrated.
People talk a lot about how dumb everyone is getting not loving the classics and how the masses only read candy that is hand fed into their minds blah blah blah. And while I’m not about to argue that in many ways we are dumber than those of long ago with their amazing vocabularies and memory skills and their illiteracy and their racism, it is obviouse that as we get dumber in some ways we get smarter in others. Hard to keep track of where you are stupid and where you are improving, gets a wee bit confusing…anyway.
With the focus on literaryness (yes, not a word, but you understand me don’t you) we have highly devalued smooth writing. And this is something that I find in common with many best selling books. The writer has the talent to take a reader on a smooth seamless adventure. To snatch them away and zip them into another world, to make them love and laugh and cry and hate along with the hero. This kind of smooth, effortless writing is very difficult to achieve and both of the authors I read this week manage to do it and do it well. Loved my time reading, absolutely loved it.
I was also reading Swamp Cat by Jim Kjelgaard to my boys. A classic children’s book with an incredible vocabulary and slow articulate action with lots of minute details concerning the eating of mice and chipmunks by the kitty hero. The boys loved it! This author, while the action was slow in many places, managed to create a smooth lovely reading experience focusing on the small adventures of the creatures around us. Good books all. Now off my soap box and on to some pics.