I open a memoir and read the first chapter with excitement. Wow, this author can write! Such beautiful images. God, what a good book this is going to be. So many good books in the world!
And then it happens. The middle slump, the loss of focus, a rushed end. Acknowledgments in which the author admits he wasn’t sure he knew how to write and he thanks his agent for his encouragement. Where’s your sense of showmanship, man? Keep that shit to yourself.
Maybe the author should have written an essay rather than a book. Maybe the author should have spent a longer time with the manuscript. Maybe she should have thought harder. Maybe he should have made sure the rest of the book was as polished as the first two chapters.
Feh. I now understand the frustration of my high school teachers who wrote, “does not live up to potential.”
What books have you read that are good the whole way through?