Book Review Philosophy Found in a Continuation Novel
I’ve been reading Thrones, Dominations, by Jill Paton Walsh, although I don’t enjoy it.
It’s one of those continuation novels, adding to Dorothy Sayers’ Lord Peter Wimsey series long after her death. I love the character and the series, and I’d love to have more, but this, although based on notes Sayers left, just doesn’t have the fun of the original novels. Mostly because Lord Peter doesn’t sound like himself.
(I also didn’t enjoy Hercule Poirot’s Silent Night by Sophie Hannah, the fifth in the Poirot continuation series. There was no joy to it. I found it a slog to get through, although the premise was interesting.)
I know there’s an audience for more, and today’s culture consumers are used to things not having to end. And certainly the estates must like the idea of more income. But it’s very difficult to write well in someone else’s voice, particularly when part of the appeal of the original is its setting and time period. Someone today doesn’t have the advantage of knowing what it was like to live then.
ANYway, the reason I’m even mentioning it is that I did like this thought, given to writer Harriet Vane (the best part of the Lord Peter books):
“You gave me a very favorable review, and I haven’t thanked you for it.”
“You shouldn’t say thank you for a good review. That would imply that one had done a favour to the author, whereas one has simply done justice to the book.”
That’s very much how I feel. If I write a good review, it’s because I thought the book deserved it, and I should as much say thank you to the author(s) for creating it.