The Knife of Never Letting Go

I'm a writer, and one with a jealous heart, so as such I tend to read popular novels with a skeptical and pessimistic eye. This was also the first book I read from cover to cover since finishing Cormac McCarthy's "The Road" (July 4, 2017). I just got my first Kindle, and so far that's been amazing. If you're on the fence about getting one, and you've been reading books via tablet or mobile phone, I highly recommend you get yourself an e-ink device some kind. Much like a pair of wireless earbuds, you'll feel like an evolved human once you've experienced it. But Ness's book, right.

It's a long chase story where a boy comes of age. I didn't particularly like the boy, and he suffers a lot. It's like when someone in a writing workshop says "make your characters flawed, and make them suffer" and Ness took that advice to its furthest logical conclusion. If you enjoy dark, dystopian, young adult science fiction, you'll find a lot to love here. What I found most interesting about the book was how it was written. I'm currently somewhere in the second year of a creative writing degree, and Ness takes pretty much everything my profs claim is "poor form" and writes a novel using supposedly broken tools. And makes it work.

I wasn't even two chapters in and I was thinking: there's really no rules to writing readable prose. It seems to come down to just doing what's best for the characters and their stories.

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