I’m 100 pages into a novel (which shall go unnamed, for the sake of the as-yet-innocent), and am trying my best to give it a “fair shake,” but failing. The problem? The language. It’s just clumsily written. It’s also full of cliche and poorly drawn characters. But I persist! I persist because the novel promises some interesting situations, and I really want to at least make it past the rising action and get to the goods. The author is obviously smart and interesting, and I’m sure she has something to offer me–at least I think I’m sure.

Does this ever happen to you? How many pages do you give a poorly written book before putting down? Is there a magic number? Or is it entirely case-by-case?

After three hellish summers in Madrid, I decided to do something different.

I went back home.

Home is Phillipsburg; Ohio, a suburb of a suburb of Dayton, which is famous for the birthplace of aviation (the Wright brothers grew up here), the Dayton Peace Accords (Serb-Croat conflict) and Guided by Voices.