This is going to be an abbreviated/sort of version of a “what I read this week” post.
So, this week (actually last week) I read Damon Suede’s “Bad Idea”. I have to say, right off, I love Damon Suede. I have read Hot Head (posted in wirtw here) and also the “Horn Gate” novella which figures prominently in this story. (I really recommend reading that one first, if you are interested in this book. It was nice to have that back-story and I’d venture to say that if you enjoy Horn Gate, you’ll like Bad Idea as well).
The thing I love about Damon Suede is his writing is so… him. Not that I know him, I totally don’t, but I feel like I kind of do from his books. His voice is so unique, so individual. And it comes through very strongly in his writing. I have heard that this is considered a bad thing, sometimes. Like when all the characters sound or behave like the author, it’s a problem. (Authorial Bleedthrough, I think?) And I will say, in some instances in this story, it stuck out to me (all the characters use the same phrases and exclamations, even though they are from different backgrounds) BUT mostly, I love it. I feel like Damon Suede himself is telling me a story.
Does it make me feel slightly removed? Maybe. But it’s a price I’ll happily pay. Because I read a lot, and honestly most books sound exactly the same. And when you read a lot of the same genre it can get tedious. Boy meets boy (or girl). Flirting, attraction. Kiss, Fuck. Drama, problem. Separate. Angst. Re-unite, fuck. Happy ever after. Rinse, repeat for the next story. Then I read a book by someone like Damon Suede, and it’s like I just popped a breath mint after a bag of addictingly salty popcorn. Even if the story line is similar, the delivery is wonderfully refreshing.
So there was this part of Bad Idea, this one passage that just floored me. I mean, I literally lost it. I stopped reading. I put my kindle down and I paced around my living room. I think there was a tear in my eye. I don’t know if I’m allowed to quote, because I’m not technically a “reviewer” or anything, but considering only like ten people ever read this blog, I’m risking it:
(Here they’re talking about a comic book character that Silas drew for Trip)
Bad Idea ©2013 Dreamspinner Press
Okay, maybe this doesn’t read as well because it is out of context, and you can’t tell how important and beautiful the moment was from this short quote, but oh my god. I just cannot contain my love for this scene, this story, and this author right here.
I don’t know what else to say. I mean, I should be thinking about how I could possibly learn from this. About how I might duplicate the connection to character, the truth and honesty that is represented so beautifully here. But really? I don’t know how to even approach that.