Monday, January 25, 2010

begins the week

Monday is like a prologue.

I'm told that many people, when reading a book, will skip anything that's labeled "prologue" and just dive right into the log part. Is this true? Seems like a crackpot approach to reading a book, if you ask me.

I think I've put a prologue on just about every novel I've written. In Ghost Medicine and Winger, it even says prologue before them. In The Marbury Lens and in the path of falling objects -- and even in the book I just finished writing whose title I will not yet reveal, there are prologues that are not labeled as such, but there are bits of text preceding the opening chapters of those books. You can call that element whatever you'd like -- call those passages "Mondays" if you're inclined -- but just like the day in the week, you can't skip it, or you'll miss out on one-seventh of your life.

Anyway, the prevailing "conventional wisdom" out there (you know, the people who say show, don't tell and you have to have a thick skin) seems to be opposed to the inclusion of prologues in the modern novel.

And I just wonder about this.

I mention this because yesterday I picked up S.A. Bodeen's forthcoming The Gardener, which has one hell of a gripping prologue. I'm about halfway into the novel right now, so I'm not going to say anything else about the book until I finish reading it today.

But you know me... I would never so much as hint at titles and authors on this blog unless I like the book.

Happy prologue day.