Rod Raglin

This blog will touch on the experiences I have as a writer (not to be mistaken for my experience as a writer, i.e. how many books I've written, etc); the pleasure and the pain, the joy and the grief, the satisfaction and the frustration, the magic and the reality - have I left anything out, oh yeah, the rejection, rejection and more rejection,  the humiliation and the embarrassment, the jealousy and the resentment - that pretty much covers it, except for why I do it which perhaps I'll realize along the way. Are you totally confused? Good, let's begin.

Of Giants and Other Men dwarfed by lack of action, burdensome back-story

“Thank you for writing this book, Caspar. I appreciate your commitment and the time you put into this worthy endeavor.




The term in media res is Latin for the middle of the action. It’s where novels are supposed to start if they want to hook the reader, leaving all the necessary backstory to be inserted subtly, gradually and only when motivated as the story unfolds.


If Of Giants and Other Men begins in media res than there’s not much hope for the rest of the novel.


I understand literary novels often attempt to break from convention but the reader picks up a book primarily to be entertained and perhaps enlightened despite how it’s categorized; literary, genre or otherwise.


Up until and including Chapter 4 the majority of the novel is backstory about family history. There’s no doubt it’s necessary but presenting it this way is tedious.


The story is loaded with innuendo and foreshadowing and for this reader it seemed apparent these “plants” would resurface later on in the novel. Unfortunately, they were so obvious that when they eventually did it would not be with surprise or as an epiphany, but with a yawn and a “see I told you so.”


Even if none of this happened to disappoint me I found the writing too pedantic and uninspired and the lack of action and layers of backstory too oppressive to carry on past Chapter 4.


I kept yearning and expecting to see action like Harold Robbins introduced right at the beginning of The Adventurers. Granted it’s not literary fiction, but does literary fiction have to be boring?


I downloaded this book free from StoryCartel as part of an ongoing commitment to review new, self-published authors.