for free for the next 2 weeks. Book is available at-
Free ebook and a review!
Summer give-away by The Friday Project: the ebook version of The State
of Me is available as a free download for a limited period! I was
pleased to see this new, rather lovely, review (4 stars) on Amazon
yesterday: I love the honesty of the review and that the s/he feels
bad about pointing out the 'negatives'.
"This chatty, funny and insightful book was thoroughly absorbing.
Nasim has done a wonderful service to people with ME, by being very
open about all aspects of the illness but never self-pitying nor
boring! The reader can only cheer her on whilst she snatches what life
she can out from under the debilitating illness. All the characters
are written well and the writer has a knack for portraying relations
deftly but true. It was truly a joy to read, if sometimes a little
heartbreaking.The only reason I haven't given the book 5 stars is that
I felt it could have done with editing down a little of some of the
inconsequential chatty detail. The author plays with form, which is
wonderfully entertaining, but I would have liked to have seen it used
more consistently which I think would have made it more affective. For
instance the author swapped between first and third person for the
first part of the book, but at some point that was just dropped.
Perhaps it could have been used to great effect later on, or perhaps
that needed to be edited out altogether? I feel mean writing the above
though, because this book has been my constant companion for days and
I've read it every chance I got".
I felt I wanted to respond to the points made, not as criticism (a
reader's views are a reader's views) but more for clarification. The
'inconsequential chatty detail' made me smile, having just ploughed
through Knausgaard (see previous post) where the dialogue is often
inconsequential. A favourite scene of mine ( A Man in Love) is a New
Year party where the dialogue suddenly comes 'alive', there are
conversations dripping with meaning, long sentences, which contrast
sharply with the previous, often static, 'purposeless' dialogue.
Knausgaard's point is that dialogue *is* often boring and
inconsequential, and in The State of Me, pared down dialogue (that
doesn't move the plot along) is to reflect the utter tedium of chronic
(at times, severe) illness. The points about the shifts from third to
first person are a little more challenging as a great deal of time
and energy (I view everything in terms of energy) was used on these
shifts. The technique was not simply 'dropped' as the reader has
observed, it was deliberate. Third person is used for when Helen is at
her most ill and isolated, she feels she is in a play, watching
herself; first person slowly takes over as she 'improves' and makes
some kind of progress. Still, it is always interesting to hear how
your writing is perceived. That is the whole point!
Enjoy the free ebook, it is only for two weeks. Please do write a
review on Amazon or Goodreads or blog or Twitter if you can. Reviews
are hard to write (at least, I find it hard) and I always appreciate
when people do write a review, even a very short one.
Posted by nmj at 18.6.13