Wednesday, July 10, 2024

The ups and downs

What's your favourite positive review, and worst negative review, and how did they make you feel? Tell us, really. 

by Dietrich

My new novel Crooked comes out in September from ECW Press — it’s based on the real life and crimes of Alvin Karpis and the Barker Gang — and the first review is just in.

“Kalteis vividly evokes the spirit of the times, and paints multidimensional portraits of his central characters. Though readers well-versed in the era's history will know how the story ends, the action is tightly coiled enough to keep them flipping pages and rooting for the rogues. It's another winner from Kalteis.” — Publishers Weekly

That’s my favorite review for the moment, and naturally I’m feeling jazzed about it, and of course about the book being released too. After all the writing, rewriting and edits, and then waiting for its pub date, it’s very reassuring to see a positive review right out of the gate. 

Of course, any bad review would make me feel, well, bad, so it’s good to remind myself that opinions are subjective and oriented around personal tastes. I understand that my writing may not be everybody’s cup of tea, still it’s best not to put too much weight on anything negative which might come along to kick my creativity in the pants. 

And since it's that time of year, as well as answering the week’s question, I’d also like to offer a few suggestions for your Summer Reads based on some recent favorites of my own.

Let me start with the new one from one of my favorite authors. Stephen King’s latest is You Like It Darker, a collection of twelve stories, published by Scribner in May 2024. My favorite’s “Danny Coughlin’s Bad Dream” — more a novella than a short story. It tells of a man having a vivid dream of the location of the body of a murder victim. Troubled by the dream’s realism, Danny Coughlin finds the location and the body, and then he does the right thing and calls 911. Of course, he also finds himself accused of the murder. Other standouts in this collection are “Rattlesnakes,” a tale of horror that’s kind of a sequel to Cujo. And there’s “The Answer Man”  a supernatural tale that King started in the 70s and set aside and only recently came back to finish it. All in all, it’s a great collection of stories that offer some great suspense.

Knife: Meditations After an Attempted Murder by Salman Rushdie, April 2024 from Random House. It’s the memoir Rushdie says “I’d much rather not needed to write.” He calls it the I-story, and the eye-story since he lost his right eye from the ordeal of his 2022 attack. “When somebody wounds you fifteen times that definitely feels very first person.” Knife is a touching account of the great writer’s brush with death and the aftermath of what he had to deal with and a true tale of the triumph of love over hate.

Three-Inch Teeth by C.J. Box is the 24th Joe Pickett novel, and it’s a good one. Published February 2024 by G.P. Putnam's Sons. In this one, Picket investigates a grizzly bear attack on a fisherman, which turns into the hunter being the hunted as a convict Picket helped put away years ago is released from prison and comes after him. Fans of C.J. Box and Joe Pickett will certainly not be disappointed. It’s another one of those books that I found hard to put down. 


Susan C Shea said...

Congratulation, Dietrich! That's not only a great review because it's laudatory but because the reviewer gives enough cvolor to attract readers to the specific story.

Dietrich Kalteis said...

Thanks, Susan.