Book review: Blasphemy by Douglas Preston

BlasphemyBlasphemy by Douglas Preston
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Well, the title of the book is spot on.

I’ve been making my way through most of the Preston and Child novels, enjoying each in turn, so I thought it was time to hunt down some of their individual efforts. My local library happened to have Blasphemy on the shelves, which came home with me for a few days.

This is a very well written book. Not only is it intriguing, it weaves in several themes, allegories, allusions and straight up social commentaries. At the same time it is a fast paced thriller. I really enjoyed it.

Of course the title is likely to make some people a little nervous about reading the book. It should be made clear that The Flying Spaghetti Monster is not mentioned, nor is his noodliness likely to be happy with the religious comments – beer and pirates are not mentioned once. No doubt some will be offended, especially if they swear blind that Sam Harris and Richard Dawkins have horns and pitch forks. Everyone else will enjoy this interesting and fast paced novel.

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Combating Writer’s Block: Advice by Genre

There is no worse disease for a writer than writer’s block. I’d also say that writer’s block is terrible for readers too, uninspired prose is what we expect from policy and political people, not our entertainment. I’m a fan of Stephen King’s writing advice: set a daily word goal and stay at it until you reach the goal. There is something about daily writing and forcing yourself to write that seems to make things flow.

But Tyson, I hear you say, I’m stuck with no ideas for what to write next. Luckily I was procrastinating whilst writing the other day and came up with a definitive fail safe for each major genre. Any additions are welcome in the comments.

Thriller Writers
When writer’s block strikes kill someone or blow something up.

Crime Writers
When writer’s block strikes describe the main character getting drunk and wallowing in self pity.

Mystery Writers
When writer’s block strikes introduce a red herring.

Romance Writers
When writer’s block strikes introduce new character with rock hard abs.

Literature Writers
When writer’s block strikes describe a tree in intimate detail.

Fantasy Writers
When writer’s block strikes have a talking dragon appear, or have the characters go on a long walk somewhere.

Sci-fi Writers
When writer’s block strikes cut and paste physics article from Wikipedia into your novel.

Horror Writers
When writer’s block strikes cut and paste autopsy reports into your novel.

Paranormal Writers
If you already have vampires, ghosts and werewolves in your novel, introduce ninjas and pirates as characters.

If you are really stuck after all of these ideas, then there is no novel in existence that can’t/couldn’t be improved by the addition of pirates and/or ninjas.