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Thirteen Steps Down by Ruth Rendell

...Why do people like it?...

I

decided that I should read some novels of writers I wouldn't normally read and this time around it's Ruth Rendell and Thirteen Steps Down.

I knew nothing about her or her work, but it was clear she's popular (number of copies at the library and hold list) and successful (long, long list of credits).

I'm a quarter of the way through and I want to throwing it back at the library.

There are two main characters--an eighty-something spinster and a twenty-something male border named Mix. The spinster spends her time reading and reliving the past. Mix is delusional about some fashion model and obsessed with a serial killer who was hanged fifty years ago.

I don't find either of them interesting. Nothing they do or say interests me.

I'm tired of serial killers stories so I don't care who he was or who he killed or why he did it or how it did it.

There is a narrative but it laced with backstory, exposition, and telling. So much telling that's it's a wonder anything actually happens in the moment.

What do people get from this kind of book? It baffles me.

I will read to the end, somehow, but the chance I'll read anymore of her work is zero.

Posted 2007/06/22 at 17h45ET in Writing.

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