sturgeonslawyer (sturgeonslawyer) wrote,
sturgeonslawyer
sturgeonslawyer

My Adventure in Creative Reading, by M. Todd Gallowglas (2019-30)

I liked this book. It is the chronological record of all the fiction and non-fiction Gallowglas wrote for two semesters of his Masters of Fine Arts degree, with responses from his mentors (apparently at the school he attended you get a different mentor each semester - interesting!).They are, in general, interesting and well-written pieces, with the writing visibly improving along the axis of time.

But.

I wanted to like it a great deal more. I found it a very _frustrating_ book to read, for two main reasons.

At least one of these reasons is forgivable, as it is inherent to the nature of the book: Each semester, Gallowglas began a new novel. Neither was complete at semester's end. And I *wanted* to read them in their entirety. The first novel is amusing and plays nicely with some fantasy cliches. And the second novel is harrowing, as far as it goes. (Much of the nonfiction is responses to his reading during the semester. Not reviews, but personal responses. I found them fascinating for the books I have read, and tantalizing for some of those I haven't.)

But the other reason is not as forgivable. The book appears not to have been proofread at all. Misspellings, extra or missing words (sometimes both), and other bugbears haunt just about every page. I could accept, perhaps, that he wanted to present the work as his mentors saw it - but it isn't just in the work. There are similar problems with the material he adds from the present of the time of the assembly of the book.

Even the back cover. The blurb gets the book's title wrong - twice! - and has a sentence made nonsensical by a missing noun.

So in the end, I recommend it, at least to students of the craft of writing, but with those two caveats.
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