I don’t know if this is a conceit common to authors, but I do sometime read a novel and think, ‘My writing is just as good as that!’. Sometimes, I go even further, thinking ‘My writing is better than that!’.
Neither of these was something that I felt while reading Carlos Ruiz Zafon’s The Shadow of the Wind. It was one of my Christmas books that had been getting closer to me as I worked through my never-diminishing pile of books to read next. Finishing it yesterday at my desk at work, I found myself sitting back and nodding in appreciation of his mastery of characterisation. He made me feel like a lazy writer, someone who just provides rough pencil sketches of his protagonists rather than the gorgeously vivid painted frescos that Zafon creates.
I’ve got The Angel’s Game to read as well, but will have to let my feelings of awe and inadequacy abate before attempting to tackle it.