I just got the copy of Nos4a2 by Joe Hill I put on hold at the library, and I can’t wait to start reading it. Mainly because I have no idea what it’s about. I mean, yes, I have a vague idea as to what I should expect from the story based on the title and the cover. There was a blurb that may have put me on the right path. But as for characters and plot, I’m in the dark. I did the same thing with Neil Gaiman’s new novel. With that one I had character information and I knew what it was about in the same way I knew The Avengers was about superheroes.

I really like going into books dark. I want to be as much of a blank slate as possible. I know that sometimes it’s required to read the summary an author/publisher provides because you can’t just go in based on the cover. Especially with a new author. You gotta get hooked somehow. But with established authors who aren’t likely to veer radically off-course, I want to be surprised by even the earliest revelations. Summaries have landmines. “When her new friend is murdered” makes me view the new friend as a joke from Page 1. “But a shocking twist at the first meeting” makes me anticipate the twist, and therefore it lacks as much punch.

This habit of mine to just glimpse and then ignore the summary is especially irritating when it comes time to summarize my own books. I HATE to summarize. What is too much to give away? What is too little? Can I get away with revealing this character or that storyline? Can I get away with not mentioning them?

I’ll keep on writing the summaries to the best of my ability because I know I’m probably in the minority. But if the whole world was like me, summaries would be so much easier to write. “Don’t you think the world needs more novels with female werewolves? And shouldn’t that character be a lesbian and live in Seattle? I agree!” I mean, if it was me, that’s all I’d need.