Russell J.T. Dyer

Writer & Editor

the works and musings of a writer in new orleans and milan, italy • Updated: Oct 11, 2013 • hits: 3121 for site today; 1 for page this week

Novels

Thus far I have finished writing one novel and published it: it’s called In Search of Kafka. I have nearly finished writing my second novel, which is called Not a Step. This section provides some information on my novels.

In Search of Kafka

My first novel, In Search of Kafka is a thriller (like a John Buchan novel) in which the main character is relentlessly pursued by the federal law enforcement agents for a crime which he is wrongly accused. He desperately tries to elude capture long enough to find the true criminal to hand to the authorities in his stead (similar to Buchan's The 39 Steps). The narration of this novel is written very much in my voice, but it sounds a bit like a P.G. Wodehouse narrator. Oliver's situation is reminiscent of a Franz Kakfa character in that he is a person normally protected from the world, but is not forced to interact with it and all of its strangeness.

The main plot is one of intrigue related to a conspiracy that Oliver uncovers involving Homeland Security. He stumbles upon it inadvertently in the first chapter and cannot ignore it as Homeland Security is hunting for him throughout the novel as a result of his accidental meddling. As a subplot, Oliver pursues a romance with a young woman who introduces him to various players who become involved in his problems derived from the main plot. He begins the story as a person who is inept in romance, but ends as a natural romantic owing to his newfound confidence gained from his experiences of tangling with government agents.

Not a Step

Like Graham Greene, I seem to write two types of novels: my first is a thriller and now my second is a serious story involving frank and mature emotions. The main character, Martin is a wealthy man who has been successful in his career; he is an unrecognizable celebrity, known only by name. While a content person, he has long been dismayed by his inability to find happiness with a woman, something he treasures dearly. Because of his celebrity status, he is often pursued by women, but he finds that they do not engage the real him.

The writing style is a mix of two voices. In the opening chapter and a few other chapters in between for effect are written as a first person narrative in which the narrator is a journalist interviewing Martin. The bulk of the chapters are written with an omniscient, third person narration. The few interview chapters occur in the present somewhat, while the others occur in Martin's past, beginning in the late 1950's when he meets a unique old man who becomes a father figure for him. Although the old man dies only a few years after he first meets him, the experience influences Martin and how he interacts and loves others throughout his life.

Literary Criticisms

This is the start of something new on my site, book reviews of novels. For an explanation of these, see my page on Literary Criticisms

The Heart of the Matter

My second literary review, it's about another of Graham Greene's novels, one of my favorites. It discusses a few aspects of the novel, focusing on the opening lines and the ending. Mainly, it discusses the interesting plot and includes some personal reflections related to writing.

The End of the Affair

This is my first literary book review for my web site. It's a review of the first Graham Greene book that I've read. It discusses the book from a writer's point of view, admiring his work and trying to learn from it.