Rereading a Good Book

I sometimes will reread a mystery. The second time around I am not looking for “whodunit”, but how the story was crafted. How much description goes into the setting? On what page is the antagonist introduced? How likeable was the protagonist, and what character flaws affected the outcome of the story, if any did? How are conversations crafted? The second time around I am looking at how the writer writes the story.

Perhaps the second time around I have more questions than I had the first time I read the book. The first time is strictly for enjoyment of the story being told, although I cannot help but notice some of the clever ways certain authors wield their craft, even during the first reading. I try to save the scrutiny of author devices until the story is over.

I believe that we never learn it all. I think we can learn much from one another. It is for that reason that I am rereading the mystery I finished a few weeks ago. It’s called Taking the Fifth by J. A. Jance. The copyright date is 1987. That’s another thing I notice. There are no cell phones in this story, and I am amused by how often the protagonist has to ask to use other people’s telephones. It keeps the story true to its time. It’s another thing an author, who might write about a past time, would have to consider.

My son noticed me reading this book and commented that I had just read that book a few weeks ago, hadn’t I? Why yes, I believe I had. He wanted to know if I could remember whodunit? I know he fears I will lose my faculties as I age. Things I do like this, he does not understand. He is almost 40 years younger than I am. I do not always explain to him why I’m doing things he finds peculiar and worrisome. Let him worry about that, instead of something else more worrisome. Young people look at older people and see somethings that are not there. They miss many that are.




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