The world is full of all kinds of deceptions, big and small. Some are fun like bluffing in poker or planning a surprise party.
Some are evil like cheating on your taxes or not telling your partner you have an STD.
And some are literary like plot twists and unreliable narrators.
But the worst, in my humble little blogpinion, is a failure to deliver on the “promise of the premise.”
When I was in college, I wanted to get my dad and sister a Golden Retriever so I put the word out to all the shelters and finally got a phone call. One came in … AND it was a puppy! So I raced down there and grabbed that ball of fluff. It wasn’t too long before they realized Tosh was a Corgi. Cute little fluffballs are oh-so deceptively adorable and lookalike. When people asked my dad what kind of dog Tosh was, he thought it was hilarious to tell them she was a Golden Retriever. “At least according to my daughter!”
(Eight-year-old Tosh the Corgi is the white one. Subsequently Dad got a Golden Retriever pup. Here’s Bear at about two months. She grew into her name soon after this photo was taken. You can clearly see they are twinsies.)
Anyway, ever see a movie trailer that showed only funny bits but was really a drama? It’s the same idea with books. I won’t mention the author or the title, but I got halfway through a book recently that shifted gears so dramatically, I had to be treated for literary whiplash. The second half could have belonged to an entirely different book. I kid you not. It went from happy cozy mystery to full-throttle police procedural. The amatuer sleuth became second fiddle to the FBI.
I don’t personally know the author, but if I did, I’d sure ask some questions. Like …
“Were you experimenting with a new genre?”
“Was this edited by committee?”
“Is your meth addiction under control now?”
It was truly an odd mash-up. Miss Marple meets Die Hard.
But then I started thinking of all the fun mash-ups we could write.
Orange Is The New Nancy Drew
To Kill A Mockingjay
Marley & Me & the Hound of the Baskervilles
What do you think would be some spectacularly over-the-top mash-ups? And over-the-top doesn’t necessarily mean bad. I mean, c’mon, wouldn’t you want to read Curious George Plays The Hunger Games?