Thursday, 12 April 2012

K is for Snake by Kate Jennings

Snake is another book I bought without knowing anything about the story or the author.

The Goodreads link
This is the story of a disastrous marriage, told with a highly distinctive voice. Kate Jennings is foremost a poet, which shines through in the beauty of the images and words. In my own prose, I like to work with rhythm, writing and re-writing until I have the right sound, even though I am very bad at writing poetry.

I bought Snake because it was a short novel. Very short. I think I tried to estimate the words once, but I can't remember how many there were. Each chapter is a couple of pages or less - in some cases, just half a page. That's an awful lot of white space, and it only has 160 pages!

My regular readers will know I struggle to write enough words. This book proved that if you have a great story and the right publisher, and the right editor with the right vision (and on top of that, lots of luck) a novel will be published. And, because it proved everything I hoped for my own work, I had to have it.


(Many years after I bought Snake - in fact, this year - Cat and the Dreamer was published... an e-novella... Click on the links on the top left hand corner, if you're interested! I'm not doing badly, am I? Day 10 and this is only my second mention!)





26 comments:

  1. Thanks for the information. I find novel in verse books have a low word count, but seem bigger because of the way the words are put on the page. I appreciate reading books that have strong characters, good plot, and are written beautifully.

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    1. It is written in prose, Theresa - but by a poet. The characters really jump off the page!

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  2. Goodness, those are some really short chapters! I'm kind of intrigued by this.

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  3. The collection on your bookshelf seems pretty eclectic - I'm impressed! :-)

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    1. Except it usually means I never read the books other people are reading, I'm always reading something they've never heard of!

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  4. I don't write a lot of words either so good to know I'm not alone.

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    1. Quality not quantity, I believe the saying goes!

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  5. I found the short chapters in the last book I read dreadfully distracting but it seems to work for this book. And ifit's encouraged you to write then it must be good!

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    1. Kate Jennings puts so much into each sentence they feel a lot fuller than they are.

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  6. I agree...anything that inspired you to write is to be respected.

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    1. I'm just drawn to novels that are unique, but I definitely aim for that in my own writing too.

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  7. Short chapters are great. I tend to write LONG novels that my editor has to hack down so I appreciate the brevity!

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    1. It must be awful watching your words getting hacked.

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  8. 'I like to work with rhythm, writing and re-writing until I have the right sound,'

    YES!

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  9. It sounds like quite a unique novel.

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    1. Unique is perfect in my opinion. I think that explains why I'm not keen on sequels.

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  10. I'd read this book just because of the cover - love it!

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  11. Now I have to check this book out (in fact, I'm hopping over to Amazon after I post my comment). I love prose that reads poetically. And short is always good, considering the extensive length of my TBR list right now.

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    1. If you read it, let me know what you think.

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  12. All said and done, I like to read short stories like these.
    160 pages is quite comfortable.

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    1. I sometimes delay reading book that are too long, just because I know I won't have the time to read them. I feel very guilty when I read these days, because of everything else I should be doing. Short books = ideal compromise!

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