Between the Voice and the Echo

A Novel

Archive for April, 2009

ABNA and Publisher’s Weekly

Posted by William Bain on April 23, 2009

My Publisher’s Weekly reviewer describes my novel’s world as “macabre” and “disturbing.” The reviewer also says that I “[render] its illusory world intriguingly enough to entice the reader to try to keep up” and closes with “It won’t be to everyone’s taste, but this novel has cult potential.”

Boo Yah!!

But I’m out of the contest. No semi-final round for me.

Boo…

I can’t pretend to know how the decision for the contest was made. I thought I had a pretty good shot at the semi-finals, but the novel is strange. And the PW review doesn’t dispel that particular quality. When I read the review, a few days after learning I wasn’t in the contest anymore, I laughed. I liked the review. I still do. But I have a hard time believing that the words “cult potential” are the ones that Amazon and Penguin publishers want to hear.

The review and the fact that I was eliminated from the contest echoes a chorus I’ve heard from several agents:

“Your writing is great. I can’t sell it.”

I’ll keep sending it out. I’ve another book in the works. Can’t sit still.

If you know an agent or a publisher looking for something with cult potential and an ” impressive unity of vision” gimme a shout.

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Publisher’s Weekly Review

Posted by William Bain on April 23, 2009

This multi-pronged novel weaves several stories together in a fashion that makes it difficult to determine what and whose reality is actually real, but nevertheless renders its illusory world intriguingly enough to entice the reader to try to keep up. Wabash, Ind., college student and library employee Chance Bresheare is intrigued when Gilley West presents him with her library card, which was issued in 1936. August LeVey is a private eye with no shadow and no reflection, which makes him appear two-dimensional. Dan Turner, a fictional Pulp detective, assumes an unwelcome reality in LeVey’s presence. Gilley lives alone in a remote farmhouse, alone except for the echoes, shadows and reflections which attend her. Here mirrors aren’t merely reflective surfaces, but (for some) are portals between two planes of reality. Likewise, the concept of shadows — the novel does begin, after all, on Groundhog’s day — is tweaked: shadows have lives of their own that impinge directly on the lives of the three (living) inhabitants of Gilley’s house. The author’s created a macabre and disturbing world where traditional concepts of reality, space and time don’t apply, bending abstract concepts in weird ways but with an impressive unity of vision. It won’t be to everyone’s taste, but this novel has cult potential.

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