Today’s guest post comes from Clyde
For thirty years or more a novel has irritated me; I would say angered, but that makes me seem petty.
The first book is Jon Hassler’s Staggerford.
That was supposed to be my book to write: the tale of a man teaching English in a small northern Minnesota town at the high school he attended. Even worse he wrote it so well. Curse him. I could have not described a faculty meeting and a faculty party as well as he did. Darn him. He fictionalized Park Rapids, while I would have done so to Two Harbors. I would have thought of as clever a town name as Staggerford—if given the time. Hmmph to Hassler. It so disgusts me that I have been forced to read it several times now.
Now, in my grumpy old age along has come another equally irritating novel. Last week while waiting for my wife to select another half dozen interchangeable romances, I spotted on our library’s tiny New Fiction section the book A Man Called Ove by Fredrik Backman.
I am about three-fourths of the way through writing my second book, a book which takes my main character from my first novel into old age with a cat. Go ahead guess. Yep, you’re correct: A Man Called Ove is my plot, set in Sweden, no less. About a man dealing with solitude and forced retirement and a cat.
Well-written too. Funny, too. Human, too.
Backman’s cat is a wild cat like Opus’s friend Bill the cat, all ratty and hairballed. My cat is a superior cat, coming by way of a vet, named after a woman author.
Backman’s first chapter upset me the most. I have been in a running battle with the techies from our local cable provider, (was local, but sold off to a mega-corp) who cannot make my TV and Internet connection reliable. Our discussions are frustration on both ends.
In Backman’s first Chapter grumpy old Ove is frustrated by the sales clerks whom he frustrates because he cannot understand how the “Opad” is not a computer. Where is the keyboard, anyway? Backman not only stole my plot, he also made me look foolish to me.
This book I think I may just have to purchase in paper form. Not digital because 1’s and 0’s don’t burn well.
I would tell you the plot, but that would be telling MY PLOT. I strongly urge you not to read it. Wait for my book to come out.
What novel or fictional character is too similar to your life or you?