Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Follow Up on BoneMan's Daughters

I reviewed BoneMan's Daughters almost 2 weeks ago, but there is still a lot of buzz about it. I read an article on CNN.com today with a catchy headline: 'BoneMan' creator grew up with cannibals. Hard to top that, methinks.

Here's the article about Ted and his place in (or out) of Christian fiction. There are some memorable quotes by an editor, Henry Carrigan, that I want to share as well:

"Good writing is lacking in a lot of Christian fiction. It's pedantic, the prose is awful, the writing is static and it's difficult to believe the characters," Carrigan says.

Though Christian publishers pushed hard to get their authors on mainstream shelves, what eventually did often was shelved away from fiction under a subsection called "inspirational fiction." "Even though they made the crossover, they didn't make the crossover. They were ghettoized," Carrigan says.

Dekker has succeeded, Carrigan says, because "he knows how to write." Describing Dekker's style as " 'CSI' meets God and Satan," the editor observes, "He knows how to use the formula when he uses a formula. He can suck people in. That's why he's been so successful."

So what does this say about Dekker and Christian fiction in general? Thoughts?


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  2. It doesn't say much to me about Christian fiction because this is the typical diatribe from people who've read very little of CBA fiction in recent years. This kind of uninformed snobbish declaration insists that the bulk of Christian fiction is stagnant and lumps all its writers in an untalented box. Hardly the case.
    Statements like these could be equally applied to segments--perhaps even the majority--of secular/ABA fiction.
    Ted Dekker does know how to write thriller/horror/mystery/suspense. He's definitely found his stride and his niche. But discussing the so-called lack of quality in Christian fiction doesn't speak to commercial success which is what Dekker has had. His writing in and of itself is useful for his storylines. He basically tells the story in a rather unobtrusive way--one doesn't much focus on the quality of the writing because his prose doesn't warrant it.