Saturday, October 5, 2013

Spoiler Alert in the Title

Sometimes as a reviewer I have to ask myself what authors and editors are thinking when they title a book.  Billy's Bones by Jamie Fessenden is a case in point since the Billy in the title isn't even mentioned until over half of the story.  So as a reader, I spent most of the time waiting for the mysterious Billy to show up, knowing at some point he'd be reduced to bones or at least have his bones (true self?) exposed.

By the time Billy did show up, I was a little irked that it'd taken so long for him to do so.  What were the author and editor thinking?  Or were they?  Could they be hoping to annoy the reader?  Did they think it was cute to make readers think that maybe the wrong cover had been put on the book?  What was the plan here?

Fortunately, Fessenden is a good enough writer that the story moved along otherwise and the plot was one of the angst type that I enjoy.  In the hands of another reader, this book could easily be rated much lower than I rated it.

Usually with a writer that I enjoy, I look up the backlist and see if another of the writer's books sounds interesting.  In the case of Fessenden, I didn't.  I'm not sure I want to wade through another book to figure out what the title means or how the title relates to the story as a whole.  In a way, I felt a little like Billy's Bones was a bait-and-switch story that starts as one thing and changes to another without warning.  In this case, however, the warning is in the title.

No comments:

Post a Comment