Monday, 27 October 2014

Saved By The Bell: A Review of The Night Porter

Just when you are about to pack up your box of sparkly trinkets and disappear into the sunset, along comes a review like this.

5.0 out of 5 stars
 Such a great tale!October 26, 2014
Kristin A. Scearce (Ashburn, VA USA) - See all my reviews
This review is from: The Night Porter (Kindle Edition)
Disclaimer: I received a copy from the author in exchange for an honest review.

This was an excellent book, and I've already recommended it to several of my author friends. It paints a picture of a profession which many of us don't get to see: that of the author vying for an award, pitted against their rivals in a world moving quickly toward digital media over the printed word. And to top it off, this award season has allowed the inclusion of a (gasp) e-book writer! Not only is THAT a point of contention for all those involved, but the main author nominated is not that great a person to begin with. He, along with three others up for Arkwright awards, are registered guests at The Saladin Hotel, and we get our "insider scoop" from the night porter of the hotel himself.

I loved this book, and I couldn't bear to put it down. It had the perfect amount of wit, intrigue, and interesting facts about the writing world, in general, and it help my interest from the first word until the last. I would definitely recommend it to all those involved in any form of the writing profession, as well as those who enjoy reading, as it gives a little extra perspective into those minds which provide us with the material we so love and crave.

5 stars (wish I could give it more)

Thank you, Kristin. You do not know how timely that review was.

Cover design by Dark Dawn Creations

A favour: If you are a US reader/friend of mine, and have read TNP (or plan to), would you review for me? I need ten US reviews to qualify for ENT distribution. I am currently on 9. Even if you didn't like the book, I would still meet the average (though I hope that is not the case :D). Happy to return any favour. 

Or favor, if I'm going native.

If that hasn't convinced you, here's a nice review from one of Britain's top e-authors - and new friend of mine - Terry Tyler.

My new hero!25 May 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: The Night Porter (Paperback)
I mean the night porter himself! What a sweetie. A brilliantly drawn character, who remains something of an enigma....

THE NIGHT PORTER is about fortnight in the life of a hotel in a fictional town in the midlands, which is hosting a quartet of authors there to prepare for a literary award ceremony. The strength of this book is in the turns of phrase, the characterisation, the dialogue. I didn't guess the 'secret' until just before it was revealed, and I was delighted to discover another twist after it, too - and a marvellously satisfying ending!

I think this is a must read for any self published writers, or those published by an 'indie' press. I loved the cynical, bitter character of Julian, the talented, self-published author of literary fiction with a drink and rage problem who is driven to despair by the success of the popular writers with their formulaic offerings. There are many insights into the publishing industry throughout the book, but not to the extent that they would exclude anyone not interested in it.

I bought the paperback, which I would recommend as it's beautifully presented, and includes many footnotes. I have to confess that I didn't read them all as I wanted to get on with the main story, and I felt that some of them could have been included in the main body of the text, but they certainly add to the book. The best one of all was the last one. You know when the credits of a film go up, and lots of funny little outtakes, or other amusing looks at 'what went on afterwards' are shown? Footnote number 81 reminded me of that!

To sum up - very well written, amusing, sweet, interesting, surprising - oh, and the character of yobbo bar manager Martin Sixsmith is a masterpiece!

(Terry Tyler, top UK contemporary dramatist, blogger and voracious reader)


Shortlisted for the best indie book I've ever read!!

(Terry again, from Twitter)

I will probably write a full story on the writing - and (mostly) marketing of The Night Porter over the winter, as an instructional guide for my Creative Writing courses and a demonstration of how difficult it is to break a Self-Published non-romance novel. I will namecheck anyone who contributes to the discussion.

If you are a friend of mine already, particularly if you featured in the Independent Paperback Scrapbook, your book will be mentioned in The Night Porter, btw.

Thanks, Mark.

1 comment:

  1. Wow, what a review Mark. That really is terrific, although I've only just started the book I'm already loving it so it's great to spread the word...which I have done btw :-)