Sunday, July 22, 2012

The Dilemma

I want to read the perfect book. I keep trying. I haven't found it yet, although parts of many books come close. The roving historical plot of Victor Hugo's War and Peace and  Alexander Dumas' The Count of Monte Cristo, or the Gothic undercurrents in Charlotte Bronte's Jane Eyre, the heart-warming twist of Baroness Orzcy's The Scarlett Pimpernel,  the intrigue of Dan Parker's The Da Vinci Code, the character development of Creasy in AJ Quinnel's Man on Fire (currently on my bedside table) and quite possibly the clipped dialogue of that modern bestseller whose name escapes me, but is similar to its many contemporary cousins. It should maybe include the wry and ridiculous humor of Steven Adams' Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, and the universe-sweeping spiritual concepts of CS Lewis' The Great Divorce, or Perelandra.

I should, instead, attempt to write it. I know what I want. Plagiarism of all that's gone before would be innately involved.  Laziness and fear of failure keep me from doing that, although I have written one and two thirds novels to date. Neither one of those is perfect yet.

What elements would the perfect book have, in your opinion?