11:06 – Last night, I read the first 400 pages or so of Walter Jon Williams’ The Rift, a 950 page doorstop of a book about a catastrophic earthquake on the New Madrid seismic zone. Most readers would have given up on this book long before anything happened in the narrative. I kept going, hoping it would all come together, but it never did. And 400 pages is about all the time I was willing to give it. Williams writes competent English sentences and paragraphs, but that’s about the best I can say for this book. A novelist should be, first and foremost, a storyteller but there’s not much story here. Just endless details about the travails of people that few readers would care about. The Amazon ratings tell the tale. Only 71% of reviewers gave this book 4 or 5 stars, and 16% gave it only 1 or 2 stars. That’s a pretty good sign of a bad book.
More work today on organizing the downstairs finished area. Barbara is heading down to Winston tomorrow to have lunch with a friend, so Colin and I will be on our own most of the day.