Jon has often commented that the obituaries area great place to find brilliant writing. I’ve just read “BasketCase”* by Carl Hisassen (a favorite author).
The central character in this rollicking and quite novel novel, Jack Tagger, is a journalist assigned to write obituaries. Jack offers up as his favorite obituary,
of Mauritius Dies at Age 85.
I see this quite a lot in proposal content. Information that is obscure, arcane or familiar to only a few, strange and mostly socially deprived individuals presented I n a way that assumes those of us reading it should be familiar with the information presented.
When this happens it causes me to feel either –
a) I slept through much more of my schooling than I realize and I question why I’m not familiar with something that the writer thinks I ought to be.
b) The person presenting this information is arrogant, has no concern whether I, as the reader, understand what is being presented or both.
This is where a review by someone with some objectivity to the offering being proposed is so valuable. Ideally, the reviewer will let you know where you’ve presented information that might not be familiar to as many people as you hoped.
*Carl Hiassen writes what is termed Comic Thrillers. His books are filled with wonderfully eccentric characters and always have several intertwining, amazingly complex plots which always resolve themselves in the most unexpected and devilishly clever ways in the end. His writing is not great literature, in the classic sense. (The New York Times refers to Basket Case as a “Frisky novel” and Entertainment weekly calls it, “Fresh and Juicy.) His books fall into the ‘great fun, easy reading’ category. Not to be confused with “light and fluffy”, these are more irreverent, slightly twisted, warped, rock and roller type writing (in fact, Basket Case is about the leader singer of the Slut Puppies, so that should give you an idea.) If you’re sense of humor is just left of center…or decidedly so, Carl’s books will have you smiling from beginning to end. Enjoy.