And the skies are all cloudy and grey...

Which is to say that someone has said a discouraging word. More than one to be perfectly honest. Yes, we always knew this day would come – the first dreadful review has just hit my inbox. And by ‘dreadful’, I don’t mean that it’s a bit negative, ‘dreadful’ in this context implies that the reviewer would sooner chew off his, or her, left testicle than ever have anything more to do with this book-thing that I have written. Which is nice.

Reviews are a funny thing, especially those in a foreign language, and up till now I’ve been blissfully unaware of anything bad being said. But a friend of a friend reads Norwegian and, for a small bribe, they agreed to translate some of the reviews and interviews that cover Kald Granitt’s publication by Tiden. Saying that there’s a WIDE range of responses to the book is a bit like saying stapling a pickled herring to your forehead is likely to get you some funny looks. Is the book “…complex and believable. Grotesque but never absurd.”, is it “properly considered and socially critical”, or does it “suck steaming piles of donkeys’ wing-wangs”? (OK, I’m paraphrasing a little bit with that last one)

Sarah asked the question a while ago – “What’s it like to get your first bad review?” Well, to be fair, I’ve had nicer experiences. No one likes to be told they’ve an ugly baby, even if the person commentating is three sheets to the wind on mentholated spirits and peering at the neighbour’s miniature schnauzer with lustful abandon. But there’s no point getting angry about it: it’s one person’s opinion. Everyone’s entitled to their opinion, right? And while it would have been nice to have nothing but good feedback, I have to bear in mind that this thing’s been picked up by seven different major publishers around the world – they can all be wrong, can they?

Still, for your delectation, delight (and quite probably schadenfreude), I give you the review of DOOM by the new Norwegian Head of the Stuart MacBride International Fan Club:

Stuart MacBride “Cold Granite”
Keep away!
Crime can be exciting. “Cold Granite” by Stuart MacBride is seldom so. On the other hand the disgust factor is well over the average. It deals with, among other things, murdered and abused toddlers.
It a bad theme. And the author has in some way or another got caught fast in it - with a richness of detail that is most questionable.
For there is not much gravity in this book. The main character - investigator Logan McRae - is a variation on a very old cliché. Here we once again have a disillusioned policeman with an drink problem, and who chews pills which contribute to making his drinking and hangovers even worse.
But of course he solves the case - albeit long after this reader had become fed up with both the character and the whole book
Olav Begby
Sorry Olav…

But I think the one I’ll be putting up in the study will be the one that starts off with: “Note the name Stuart MacBride. In a few years time he could be a world famous author.”

Well, we can always hope ;}#