Thursday, February 9, 2012

Books and blogs, it's a small world

Sometimes it's the simplest idea that jumps up and really grabs you. The title of Gregg Hurwitz's novel, simply "We Know," did that - along with the plot: an ordinary, everyday young guy is whisked away by a Government agency to confront a terrorist at a nuclear power plant.

When I saw a copy I bought it, lured in by the title and the concept. It's one of those thrillers that are lean, taut, tight and terrific (like an athlete's bod, the kind some have and the rest of us would like to have but without doing all the grunt work.) Hurwitz's novel also has something else that makes a great thriller stand out from the madding crowd - an emotional tug, tied in with the hero's predicament and his past, that keeps you turning the pages.

Thriller supremo David Morrell's work has always had that emotive wringer, ever since he introduced troubled ex-Marine John Rambo in "First Blood," and through to his many espionage tales ("The Brotherhood of The Rose" and its sequels) and his standalone suspense novels. "Long Lost," and "Burnt Sienna," are prime examples of electrifying suspense with haunting and ethereal undercurrents throughout.

Here's the thing: I first read about Gregg Hurwitz in a blog, and then in a comment posted to a forum, then I read "We Know," then I began checking out Hurwitz's own blog (an interesting background writing not just novels but comics, film scripts and academic Shakespeare articles) and now here I am blogging about the author and his books. Full circle. Maybe it really is a small world, and if that's the case, the blogosphere and the myriad maze of social networking platforms, as vast as they are, are also in their own peculiar way, a small world.

For example, David Morrell's Facebook page has become something of a meeting place for conversation on popular culture, as he'd hoped it might, containing broad views from many contributors on the latest projects and releases in books, film, television, and on what's happening week by week in those industries.

Discovery of a new blog/forum/website/online group or twitterer is just as exciting now as unearthing a new book or tv series or "indie" movie that's just right for you. And you'll probably start blogging and twittering about it.

I read David Morrell's novels for many years before 'discovering" his Facebook presence and now look forward to his breath-of-fresh-air posts as much as I do his new book releases.

And, like many others out there nowadays, the reverse is also true: I've found I'm discovering a blog or a website that I really like, and as a result then starting to read that blogger's or twitterer's books as well (that is, if they have them). Full circle again, but it's certainly not a vicious circle or a merry-go-round. Instead, it's more the "big bang' variety, a circular, ever-expanding journey to constantly new places.

I'm glad to be along for the ride.

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