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Tomas: Robert Bedick

February 3, 2011

You’ll also find this review on my bigger blog, How Publishing Really Works. You can comment on it here, but you can’t over there.


Who is Alfred Tomas?

When Paul Webber is approached by an intriguing widow to write a book about her “highly influential, but criminally obscure” husband, the artist Alfred Tomas, Paul thinks Tomas will be his first step towards achieving literary glory. But the more he learns about Tomas, the more he begins to question the quiet family life he leads with his wife Sylvia and their young son Josh.

Tomas has the potential to be an absorbing, interesting read: but it’s sadly let down by careless mistakes and what I suspect is the writer’s inexperience.

Unlike most of the other writers I’ve reviewed here, Robert Bedick knows how to use an em-dash (hurrah!); but his use of hyphens is haphazard, and his use of speech marks is inconsistent especially where other punctuation marks get involved.

His characters did a pretty good job of engaging my attention: but they were prevented from reaching their full potential by some flabby writing which I found both confusing and distracting. And as for the dialogue tags—no! Almost every single one might just as well have climbed onto my kitchen table and waved its red knickers in the air, they distracted me so from the narrative flow. Writers rarely need to use more than “he said”, “she whispered”; I don’t think there’s ever a call for “I meekly offered in rebuttal”.

So: would I recommend this book? Very nearly, but not quite. Mr. Bedick could easily improve it to a point where I would have recommended it just by tightening it up and deleting all of those overdone dialogue tags: but then it would have made an extremely short book. I read eleven pages out of one hundred and ninety-two, and think Mr. Bedick would do well to edit his own work far more rigorously in future.

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  1. February 4, 2011 at 7:02 pm

    Hi Jane,

    Thanks for taking a look at my book Tomas. I’ll have to take another look at those distracting dialogue tags.

    In the meantime, your readers might be interested in reading some alternative reviews of the book at:

    http://www.amazon.com/Tomas-Robert-Bedick/product-reviews/055726068X/ref=dp_top_cm_cr_acr_txt?ie=UTF8&showViewpoints=1

    Robert

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