I really wanted to love Blackbirds because I’m a fan of your Terribleminds website. Your advice to writers — your brass knuckled advice to writers — is great stuff. You’re a no-nonsense kind of writer.
But I have to say “Sorry Chuck, I liked it but I didn’t love it.” I’ll give you an “A” for originality because I haven’t read anything like it before. It had a nice twist at the end, and I was really curious about how Miriam could possibly extricate herself from her predicament. But overall I had to grade you down in the language department. And I just wasn’t wrapped up the characters. I wasn’t sucked into their shoes, and I think that goes back to the language (but I could be wrong).
Blackbirds has a sweaty-balled kind of beauty. Like a rusty diamond plate bumper on a big rig, you slam the reader down the road and into the guardrail of literature. You are a true artist in the realm of swearing. But for me, this was Italian food. There’s nothing wrong with Italian food. Millions of people love it. But me, I’m just not a fan of pasta. I prefer pretty language. I’m a sucker for it. The Catcher in the Rye is raw, there’s sex and swearing, but it’s beautiful to read.
But I suppose we can’t all be Salinger, and you aren’t trying to be, so that’s not a fair thing to expect from you. It’s a solid book, fun and fast-paced. I’ll give you a “B.” Not that you give a flying frick through a rolling doughnut what I think, of course.