Thursday, July 19, 2007

Peter Abrahams' Oblivion

Just finished Peter Abrahams, Oblivion, and found it a great thriller.

Well, almost great. I knew who the villain was by page 100. The reason behind the villain’s actions weren’t clear until book’s end, and then all was reveals and neatly tied up. Perhaps, Mr. Abrahams didn’t care if the reader ‘figured’ out the who dunnit part of the book, as long as there was some secret to kept dangling for discovery. Perhaps, as my family will attest, I’m simply twisted enough I normally know who the guilty culprit is long before confession time arrives.

Have you read Oblivion? When did you discover the villain’s identity?

As for the book itself . . . the pacing is fast—really fast with snippets for chapters and an amazing ability to employ chapter hooks. And considering how many chapter hooks, Mr. Abrahams used in this book; he can only be considered a master of this writing technique.

I loved his dialogue. Long streams of back-and-forth dialogue with few tags and little scene blocking, but somehow the character speaking is always clear. Many writers will laud an author’s ability to build distinctive character voices to make this technique work, but there was so much more in Oblivion. Were there differences in character dialogue? Sure, but not enough to always set them apart. It was something more than language style or accents or ingrained educational backgrounds.

I would say, Peter Abrahams possesses a terrific talent for setting up the perfect dialogue run. Only two characters in the room, so the back-and-forth works to maximum efficiency; there is enough scene blocking, as in who’s standing where or who’s holding the drink, and then Mr. Abrahams jumps in . . . or at least his characters do. He lets them talk it out, like a fast-paced tennis match, serving the ball across the net then lobbing it back again and again. The dialogue literally flies on the page. I loved it.

Cool fact:


This is the cover of Oblivion that’s all over the net (checked under Google and found multiple entries showing this cover layout.) My Oblivion cover is completely different—different picture, coloring of book jacket, color of his name, type set on title—I mean it is completely different from the actual release of the book.

I checked the inside cover to see if I’d somehow received an ARC (advance reader copy). Nope, all the copyright information is the same as the one found on the net. I have no idea what the differences mean, except how cool is that? I have a Peter Abrahams novel that’s unique from the mass release.

If you’ve read this Peter Abrahams novel, or any other, do share. I’m always looking for my next great read.

1 comment:

L.A. Mitchell said...

Could I love Peter Abrahams any more than I already do? In many of his books, you know the villian far ahead of the beginning, but the final twist is the thing you crave. My favorite part about him? How he can twist your expectations about a character on a razor-sharp edge. No wonder Stephen King loves him. They both have the ability to plunge rational, relatable characters into madness. His are true psychological thrillers. Love, love, love his work. :-)

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