Ago ago ago ago ago! Ago ago ago! I have been reading Ken Follett’s, massive tome “World Without End” and thoroughly enjoying it; a real page turner, all 1111 pages of it and, in old-fashioned boy’s own language, a gripping yarn. I’m a sucker for period romances anyway and can hardly keep my nose out of it so it would seem a bit peevish to come up with a sort of minor complaint in the writing. I see in Mister Follett’s acknowledgments he lists a number of “literary advisers” so how they let it pass and why his editors didn’t cotton on to it I really don’t understand. Maybe it’s because to most people it doesn’t add up to a can of beans but for me it is like an itch that has to be scratched. What am I referring to? I refer to every time he writes in the past tense it invariably ends in “ago” and when you have read that word umpteen times it begins to stick out like a sore thumb and irritate accordingly. There are alternatives to “ago” but never once does he use one; past, before, previous, previously, since, or the past tense of verbs none of which seem to be in Mister Follett’s vocabulary or, if they are, he assiduously shuns them in favour of ago ago ago! Grrr! But hoorah! Finally on almost the penultimate page he uses the word “earlier.” So there you ago.
The sign of a jolly good read, apart from not being able to take your nose out of the book, is that you simply can’t wait to get to the end to discover how it all turns out, hopefully for the best but then, when everything has come to a satisfactory conclusion, you’re sad that it’s over. It’s like having a truly fulfilling role in a wonderful play, something that doesn’t happen all that often, perhaps half a dozen times in a lifetime if you’re lucky, and reaching the end of each performance wishing you could do it all over again and reluctant to leave the theatre. Now I look forward to reading the prequel, “Pillar of the Earth” which I am sure I will enjoy just as much, as long as there aren’t too many agos.
And whilst on the subject of writing, Chris’s biography of George Leybourne, although shortlisted, did not win the Society for Theatre Research Bookprize 2012 but let’s hope even being in the top six will help to sell it, and sales invoices from the printers were e-mailed and revealed that for me there had been a few sales of three or four plays but not a single book. Not one single book! Just how does one start the ball rolling when one does not have the means of promotion? Does one just wait for a little miracle, like someone with influence discovering one accidentally, or what? Any ideas?