After she read the back cover blurb I posted on Laudable Audibles – Lincoln Lawyer, a Facebook friend asked, What in your opinion is: “a stunning display of novelistic mastery”?  

My first thought was that a stunning display of novelistic mastery is as human, as gripping, and as whiplash-surprising as any novel yet written.  But then I realized I wasn’t actually thinking that at all.  I was reading it.  Apparently that’s how whoever wrote the book’s back cover blurb defines a stunning display of novelistic mastery.

It’s a valid question, though, posed by an accomplished Verb Vixen who regularly pulls a stool up to the Space Bar and orders a draft.  I want to give it its due.

And it’s a tough question, when you try to break it down.

A stunning display of novelistic mastery.  Is the display stunning? Am I stunned by the display?  Or have I set his bar so low that I am stunned that Michael Connelly could pull it off?  I’m kind of baffled by the stunning part.  I think I’ll just look at the part of the question that seems the most straight forward: novelistic mastery.

“In the form of a question, please.”

“What is novelistic mastery?”

For me, a master novelist builds a satisfying story in a world that makes sense, and populates it with imaginary people that I care about.

And, this being open mic night, let me throw it back to you all: what is novelistic mastery to you?

Advertisements