Saturday, July 12, 2008

Sure wish I'd thought of that

As a writer, my problem is this: When I have a good story, I can never come up with a good title. And when I have a good title, it always seems to arrive without the story.

Well, that's one of my problems. The others include writing at about the same pace as the Ice Age and producing prose that is frequently less lively. But we must all do the best we can with the tools we have.

I love good titles, so much that I've bought many books just on the strength of them. The latest of these is This Night's Foul Work, by Fred Vargas. I assume it's a line from Shakespeare, just as her earlier Wash This Blood Clean From My Hand, but if there was ever a title to grab a mystery reader by the throat, this is it. You've got to love the Bard, and you've got to love Fred Vargas. I'll post a small review after I've read it.

This Night's Foul Work, by the way, is the first of hers that Random House has published in hardcover. Maybe we'll start seeing some of her stuff at the big chain stores here in the U.S.


Peter Rozovsky said...

Your comment about Fred Vargas' titles is compliment to her English-language publishers. None of her English-language titles is a translation of the original French. The French title of This Night's Foul Work, for example, is Dans les bois ├ęternels, which means In the Eternal Woods.
Detectives Beyond Borders
"Because Murder Is More Fun Away From Home"

Dave Knadler said...

In the Eternal Woods does not quite do it for me, and I might not have bought the book with that title. Does that make me superficial?

By the way, I guess the big chain stores are taking notice. I saw This Night's Foul Work at Barnes & Noble. First time I've seen any of her books there.