I was very happy to see Mere Mortals reviewed for the second time by a different reviewer--and showcased on Lambda Literary’s “Book Lovers” column this week. It helped to salve a little of the disappointment of neither Mere Mortals nor Junction X getting shortlisted for the awards. I know I put on a brave face but I do hope, same as everyone else! :D
What I found interesting though, was the reviewer’s opinion of Philip Smallwood, and the difference in the light of the early part of the novel and the dark of the latter half. He says the reader is “blindsided” when Philip’s plans are uncovered.
(spoilers ahead) That was a very deliberate act—I wrote from the point of view of the most naive and ingenuous of the three young men. If I’d written it from Myles’s point of view, he would have sussed Philip out long before, and as for Jude—well Jude was embroiled early on, even though neither of the other two knew it. Crispin was the only viewpoint that would have worked; he had to have that optimistic and kind outlook, neither of which the other had.
I also found it interesting that the reviewer wanted more of a cathartic ending for Philip than what he had had, perhaps meaning that he could have done some good deed or something before dying—I’m hugely flattered that Philip resonated with the reviewer that well, and the kind things that he said about him—but, well, I tried to make it as realistic as I could—under the circumstances. A noble death of any kind would have been wrong – and as the reviewer says: “What he plans is too despicable for our pity”—I could do that for one of the other characters, but never for Philip.
In other news, I am suffering from what is possibly the mildest chest infection I’ve ever had. (So far at least!) usually I get a chest infection after a heavy cold but this time the cough came in all on its own. But it’s only really a problem when I change from the vertical to the horizontal so am very pleased it’s not turning me into Foul Ol’ Ron for a change!
Perhaps the nice weather has helped too! Although with rivers drying up and fish in trouble I hope we get the weather we deserve this time of year pretty soon.
And of course, with a petrol tankers strike on the horizon, the news services have started panic buying simply by saying “do not panic buy.” sigh. I hope I can get some tomorrow—the local garages’ supplies are sporadic at the best of times and if there’s none to be had, I could be stuck in the middle of nowhere.