Port De Soller Mallorca

Port De Soller Mallorca

Sunday, 15 April 2012

Book Review: Dull Knife by C.J Box (with additional comment)

If you have read my previous reviews on C J Box novels you will know that I am completely enamoured with the guy and in particular his creation Joe Pickett, and while extremely short, this was not disappointing in terms of the story and presentation.

While checking that some 'ice fishermen' have their license's Joe is informed by one of them that there appears to be a glow from underneath the ice in the distance.  Joe doesn't particularly like standing on ice with a river running underneath his feet, who does, but slides over to investigate.  As he approaches, sure enough there is a glow from under the ice, but there is something else, something sticking up through the ice.  It looks like maybe a branch, but as he looks closer he discovers that it is in fact ............

Well no point in me giving away the whole story now is there!


I didn't read any other reviews before buying this, I hardly ever do, as most books I read are either because I have read the free bit on the kindle review page or have been pointed towards the book by someone else who thinks I will like it.  When I went back on to the Amazon site to download the photo of the book I noticed that there were two reviews and so I pulled them up and had a look at them and both reviewers on Amazon UK,  felt very short changed and for that reason gave it a 1 star rating.  I then popped over to Amazon US  and there are 18 reviews there, but once again almost without exception everyone is on about being ripped off by both Amazon and the author, do they have a point?

Well that's the big question today isn't it, how much is an authors work worth and how much are you willing to pay for it.

As to the question in regard to this particular piece, from my own view, the answer is Yes and NO!

Sitting right on the 'Picket Fence' on this one.

On the one hand I believe that an authors work, like anything else has got a value and we as readers should pay for it, unless either the author or the seller is doing a deal on it and either giving it away free or at a reduced price as a promotion.

I also understand NOW, since reading the American reviews that this was first released in 2005 as a short story, so those people commenting that it was only a chapter and seemed unfinished need to learn the difference between a Novella/ Novelette and a book. And, as it only took them around 15 minutes to read, re -read it, slowly, and I am sure that they will find that the Novella had a beginning, a middle and an end, for goodness sake what more do you want in a written piece (apart from more words and pages).

But, to an extent I am with the gripe about not knowing how much you were getting in relation to the cost of the purchase.  C.J. Box's books don't get that much of a discount as he is a publishing house author and I have no idea how much control mainstream authors have over pricing as opposed to all of my wonderful Indie authors, so there is that argument.  But, I think it only right and proper that there should be a disclaimer at the point of purchase, and a prominent one at that, warning and advising the purchaser, that the book about to be purchased is in fact a short story and then they could make their decision to purchase, or not, based on that notice.

In the end, you cannot expect everything to be free but why some have said in their reviews that 'lost a fan' is completely off base and I have no understanding why they would say that.

The Novella was a structured read, it did, as I have already stated have a beginning a middle and an end and it was entertaining for the 25 minutes it took me to read it, so on that basis


I have just checked the Amazon sites both here and the US.  Both sites do in fact print a disclaimer but not sure if they have been there for long, I certainly never noticed them before the UK one is  here and the US one is  here  and where both estimate the 'book' to be 21 pages.  It may well be that this is new, or since the complaints started, but if it was slightly larger, it may help.

my review is

Editing for Kindle: 5 out of 5
Reading Enjoyment: 5 out of 5 
Plot: 5 out of 5
Overall Rating: 5 out of 5


  1. Not sure how it is in the UK, but here in the US the short story market has been skimpy for years that readers don't know quite what to do with the form. Buying a single story is a bit of a novelty, too, and out of context with what readers are used to (short stories in collections or in a magazine). I think many are truly shocked to discover the stories are SHORT.

    On the flip side, many novelists don't get short stories either. They're easy to write, but difficult to write well.

    As for price, I think .99 cents is perfect for a short story. Less than a candy bar and more filling.

  2. I love the fact that short stories are making a big comeback - that's what I read as a kid and a young adult. They faded as publishers lost interest. I never lost interest.
    I love the challenge of writing a short story.

  3. Jaye, you finally got to comment, hurrah, hurrah!
    And Julia back again glad to see you both..

    I don't mind a short story but most people seemed to miss the point with this one and reviewed it on the price, which was, all said and done, maybe just a tad too much for what they got.

    The last collection of short stories I read was last year and it was a collection put out under Lee Childs, entitled First Thrills and had, I think, about 12 different authors including Mr Childs giving us some excellent work. Then recently Kirkus MacGowan has released In Search of Nectar a ludicrously funny little short about a garden gnome.

    Dare I say it I also enjoyed another short story recently called Is It Spicy no Idea who wrote it but they appear to have some talent...... Just turned up in my in box one day and made me laugh, Missy B


All posts and photos copyright to the author, unless otherwise stated, and should not be reproduced without permission. If reproduction permitted, full accreditation and link to site must be provided.
Anonymous comments are not invited and will be sent direct to the SPAM box....