[I do love a double contraction. Just not in labor, thank you very much.]
For me, it all goes back to Catch-22.
My brother, a screenwriter and voracious reader, insisted I read the book–it was “brilliant” and blah, blah, blah. So I tried. I started Catch-22 , got stuck about 150 pages in, and threw it across the room, at least six times before I finally finished it. Then I loved it. And I read it again. Catch-22 is brilliant. I just had to be patient. I had to ignore the pile of waiting books, keep reading, and finally be thrilled by it when I couldn’t put it down.
But, people, let’s be real: no agent today would save that drowning book from the slush pile. Or any Jane Austen book, either. Nothing happens for so many pages that no agent would have the stamina (or time) to recognize the gem.
I read Catcher in the Rye more than six times, too–all the way through, feeling different about it each time, and then was ravenous to find any other Salinger story I could get my hands on. In this case, I’d bet most agents today would save it from the slush pile.
How about Atlas Shrugged? If I were the agent, I wouldn’t give it a glance. I’d also likely pass on the first ten pages of Pride and Prejudice, and the world would be forced to suffer the absence of Ms. Austen’s dry humor due to my oversight.
We all like different books, stories, movies, and music. Don’t waste your life, and miss awesome books, because you’re waiting for an agent to save your next favorite book from the slush. Trust the brave authors who publish independently, knowing there are readers out there just waiting to hear about their work.