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On Thriller Books That Don’t Thrill

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Have you ever held someone’s hand and walked out of sync with them? It feels disjointed, even jarring. Similar to dancing, walking hand-in-hand requires a certain amount of connection, a certain tuned-in-ness that if missing, makes for an uncomfortable experience.

When Thriller Books Don’t Thrill…Whose Fault Is It?

I mentioned in a recent post that I’d been in a reading slump. I thought it was over but two recent failed attempts at new-to-me books hammer home the point that I’m just not ready for a new book right now. Or at least, I haven’t found one that has grabbed me by the shirt collar and screamed, “read me!” recently.

Which brings up the age-old question: is it me or you? You being “authors at large” who are unable to tempt me to keep reading more than three-quarters of a book without finally giving up and searching for something new, something different, something that will hold my attention.

I miss great stories. I miss the mornings spent looking forward to a post-lunch 10-15 minute fiction fix. I want to have a story that is always burning at the back of my mind, making me curious and try to puzzle things out when I’m away from it. If reading fiction is as beneficial healthwise as meditating, then we all can pat ourselves on the back when we crack open our latest read, right?

Often, authors are blamed for the lack in their books. How often have you heard, “I got lost in the middle,” or “the author rushed things,” or some variation of these? Being an author and a reader (which I’m assuming that all authors are), adds another layer of complexity to this situation.

When you’re disappointed by the book you’re reading, are you to blame or is the author?

Readers, Authors & Synchronicity

Like walking while holding hands with someone you love, reading is a partnership. It’s a strange, multi-time-zoned partnership to be sure. One where the two real people involved rarely meet in real life.

It requires certain things from the reader: imagination, patience, the ability to keep up with the details.

It requires certain things from the writer, too: organization and clarity and most importantly, the ability to tell a captivating story that transports a reader into your own imagination.

So, is the problem really that I can’t find a thriller book that thrills me? And if so, is that the fault of these authors whose books I’m trying (and failing) to connect with? Is it my own fault as a reader, because I can’t get into the author’s imagination?

Maybe it’s just that I haven’t found the right thriller for where I am right now. Maybe, when we aren’t connecting with a book–or even leave poor reviews of it–we have to admit that part of the blame falls on us as a reader.

Perhaps we’re not in the right headspace. We might have too much else going on, too much stress (or boredom?), too many other interests or not enough time to really dedicate to the book we’re currently reading.

I’d love to hear your thoughts on this topic. Also, if you have any great thriller book recommendations I’m all ears.

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