Sunday, November 18, 2007
Devil in the overabundant details
Dear Erik Larson:
Read Steven Hart's book. Learn how to write a work of non-fiction with concision and humor. Learn how to keep yourself under 400 pages, and how not to fool around with novelistic cliches.
This book had a lot of promise, but it simply sputters along for more than two-thirds of its tedious length.
You don't need to create a two-page aside ievery time you wish to name-drop a famous person who went to the Chicago World's Fair. MANY famous people went--BFD. Stick to your subject. Or, even better, pick a subject, instead of trying to write about fifteen or twenty of them.