Thursday, February 19, 2009

Responding to Nemesis Train

Receiving feedback on a book such as Nemesis Train is gratifying, even when it might be critical. Just the fact that someone took the time to read the book, take it serious and expression their reactions. I recently received a letter from a friend, who has worked as a chaplain at a drop-in centre for Vietnam Veterans in Queensland. His comments were part review, part personal letter. Here are some excerpts:

There were moments of brilliant descriptive prose—especially when visually describing some scene, ambience or mood. One was when “The driver” met the three young people in the early morning. I remember the neon light flickering twice before coming on and the claustrophobia in the law firm.

I loved the plot in a frustrated kind of way. But I loved it more at the end of the journey than the journeying itself. It’s the sort of book you’ve got to read twice to savour the twists and ironies and connections and character similarities with a knowledge of the end in mind. The way it all coalesced in the end was very clever, and reminded me in some ways of Mitch Albom’s The Five People You Meet in Heaven. . . .

The episode with the prostitute reminded me of a young man who was idealistic enough to care, while at the same time courageous enough to step out of his cultural comfort zone and do something about it. The conversations with the old man were deep and meaningful.

Keep on writing. You’ve certainly got a talent. I’ll be looking for your next one.

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