Taking the Titanic by James Patterson with Scott Slaven
The world of decreasing attention spans and limited time has made its way to publishing. Marketed with taglines including “What if someone wrote novels… without any of the boring parts?” and “All killer, no filler.” – James Patterson’s Bookshots series entered the market in June last year and already has more than 30 titles available.
As an avid James Patterson reader, I have read most of the Bookshots series and while some of the short stories (usually between 120-150 pages – about 2 hours reading) in the series are forgotten soon after reading the final page, some of the stories leave you wanting more and make you wish they had fleshed out the story into a full novel. Killer Chef and Cross Kill immediately come to mind. The latest Bookshot I read was Taking the Titanic (co-written with Scott Slaven) and is another that could have been a good long format story.
Set in 1912 the story follows the tale of two thieves aboard the ill-fated Titanic who are on board to prey on the rich upper class passengers on board. Things start to go awry long before the ship hits the iceberg and like many in the series, the book ends rather suddenly with the feeling there was another 100 or more pages left to tell.
Sometimes the so called “boring bits” are actually integral to the story; fleshing out the characters, establishing moods and building tension. While I believe these books have a place on the market, I see the potential for a plethora of short stories that could have been turned into enjoyable fully formed novels.