That Time I Threw a Book At the Wall

I don’t generally throw books against the wall, but when I read Tana French’s book the first time, I was so aggravated by the ending that I tossed it. The story was engrossing. The characters richly detailed. The book won an Edgar when it was published, in 2007. But the ending drove me crazy because it left something important unresolved. I actually thought I’d got a misprinted book that had lost the last twenty pages.

I was so aggravated that I vowed I would never read another book by her. (I should note that I was not alone. If you look at the Amazon reviews for this book, 10% of them are in the 1 and 2 star range, which seems sort of high to me. And some of the reviews are blistering.)

Years passed and periodically she would write another book and it would get all sorts of acclaim and I would say to myself, “No, Tana French. You got me once.  Not again.” (Clearly I take these things way too personally. )

Then, one day I happened to be chatting with my boss about mysteries and I was fulminating about this book, and he looked at me kindly and said, “You know, there are five more books in that series and she does explore it more in the other books.” I said, “Oh.” Well how was I to know? But still, it stuck with me and I thought, all right. I have a credit on Audible. I’ll listen to it again and see what I think and maybe I won’t be upset because I already know about the ending. 

Reader, I loved it.  I was so glad I gave it a second chance. I just fell in love with it, and now I’m about to start listening to the second one, and I’m hoping at some point she answers this question, but I’ve calmed down. Have you ever done that? Gone back to a book a second time and found something new? Share your thoughts on Twitter and Facebook

Susan Breen is the author of the Maggie Dove mystery series. Her stories have been published in Alfred Hitchcock’s Mystery Magazine and Ellery Queen’s Mystery Magazine. She teaches novel-writing at Gotham Writers and is on the staff of the New York Pitch Conference. www.susanjbreen.com

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