Monday, August 06, 2007

Don't Spoil Wignall

As I was scrolling through the headlines from The Toronto Star, I saw something that’s become rather familiar:

A fine Potter farewell
WARNING: If you haven't finished reading Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, you may want to skip the third and fourth paragraphs of this story.

I am sick to death of everyone treating that book like it’s something special with regards to spoilers. You admit, “Yes, I read one of the leaked spoiler articles” and all of a sudden everyone’s jumping all over you saying, “Well don’t tell me!” Like, did I? Have I ever randomly posted spoilers all over the place? Do I make a habit of showing up on your blog and telling you how the book you’re reading allegedly ends? So why the hell do people assume I’d suddenly do this now?

That’s what pisses me off about it. Okay, from time to time I’ve posted a link to a review/article and didn’t realize the spoilers contained in it… In part because I haven’t been following the series so I don’t realize the significance of some things said. In light of a recent discussion about a specific book I posted a link to a write-up about the book and said some might find it interesting. It was posted in the context of a conversation about the book by people who’d read it (though I hadn’t read it myself) and someone went ballistic because the article had some spoilers. Be an adult – if you’re reading something and paragraph 2 of 12 it gives something away chances are there’ll be more spoilers before the end. So stop reading! (And why were you reading the book discussion to begin with if you didn't want spoilers?)

As much as I try to avoid spoilers or giving away too much of the plot in reviews, I do have a bit of a concern that some others might not be so diligent when it comes time to review the new Kevin Wignall book, Who Is Conrad Hirst? I have decided that since so many people just assumed I’d become a spoiler-loving witch over Harry Potter I’m actually going to defend a book that matters against spoilers – I’ll send my uncensored evil thoughts against anyone who gives away plot for Who is Conrad Hirst? for a whole day. Buy it. Read it. Keep the secret and just tell others to buy it and read it. What better way could there be to entice people to buy a book? You have to buy it and read it to be part of the club of those who know.

It’s actually a royal pain in the backside, because this is one of the most delicate reviews I’ve ever had to try to write. I thought Christa Faust’s Money Shot was tricky, because of the layers to the book that I didn’t want to give away, but WICH is proving trickier still.

The nice thing about going back and catching up on an author is discovering their work. This is one of the reasons I enjoy interviewing authors – motivation to read through their backlist. (Sometimes, the backlist is to big to do that, but I do read some of the books.) I recently tracked down a copy of For The Dogs and spent some quality time reading. I wouldn’t want to give anything about that book away either, but… well… what a story.

Read it. You won’t regret it. Unless you give away the story. In which case, I’ll hunt you down.


Anonymous said...

I agree with Sandra here! I'm a huge Kevin Wignall fan (am i allowed to say fan?). Having met him in 06 at Harrogate and found him a very interesting person to chat to. I decided to give one of his books a try. "Among the Dead". I loved it and have since tracked down his others. This man has a real talent for writing as well as storytelling, if you know what i mean.
His new book is excellent and you should just buy it and then come talk to me about it because i'm ready to burst at the seams.

Randy Johnson said...

Pay no attention to those people. You said it right when you called them for reading a book discussion on a tome they hadn't finished. Makes no sense. Any time I come across something like that, I do as you say. I stop reading! Is that hard? Not everyone reads the same books and they might not realize they're giving away significant plot points. That said, there are always folks that take great delight in detailing every point in a book or movie. I have a cousin like that. Sometimes I want to kill him!

Sandra Ruttan said...

Randy, funny thing is, spoilers often don't phase me. Half the time the book jacket has spoilers. And if the book is twisty-turny right from the beginning saying too much about the plot at all can be a spoiler of sorts.

Although it's also an anchor. I found this handing over my ms without any summary to a few readers. Since they had nothing but the story they had to figure out who the protagonists were. I forgot that with a printed book, they'd know. But me just handing a manuscript meant they had to mentally sort that, and because of the speed of the plot that was a bit tricky at first.

Chelbel, you're allowed to say fan. And even mentioning the book is sort of a tease, isn't it? It's another month until it goes on sale, I think...

Sandra Ruttan said...

PS Chelbel, the movie rights for WICH have been sold... Your pick to play Conrad Hirst?

Anonymous said...

Now that's a tough one How about Joaquin Phoenix. He gets my vote!

I'm thrilled i got to read WICH early but it's killing me that i can't say much about it....

Kevin Wignall said...

Thank you, Sandra, and I appreciate that people see the value of protecting the plot.

Phoenix would be a good call Chel, as I think would Jake Gyllenhaal. But there are also a few British actors who could do great things with this part. Fingers crossed, eh?

Evil Kev said...

***** SPOILER ALERT ********

Here's what happens in the new Harry Potter. The story starts, Harry does some things. More stuff happens and then the book ends.

I hope I didn't give too much away.

Graham Powell said...

Huh, this weekend I read THE JUDAS WINDOWS by John Dickson Carr. Right in the middle of it the main character throws out a spoiler to Wilkie Collins' THE MOONSTONE! Without even a warning!

Sandra Ruttan said...

Kevin, it would be great if they asked you to do My Book, The Movie - that would be interesting! Especially since film rights have been sold.

Evil Kev... thanks for showing everyone what I have to put up with.

Graham, now that would irk me, and I think you should sue the author. I mean, we all know to stay away from reviews if you don't want spoilers, but that's weird. I can see the other author being annoyed.