“the buzzy philosophy element”

I’m spending occasional moments cleaning out my office after 15 years. It’s an excavation into the forgotten past. For example, I had no recollection of this letter from a British editor. The subject is Something to Hide, my novel that was later published by St. Martin’s in the US:

This started off quite well–or intriguingly at least–with the themes of philosophy and conspiracy nicely built, the characters of Zach and Kate making slow but steady progress and the plot structure being established. Somewhere, though, Levine fucked up and from halfway through this winds down into a rather dull trudge through overly familiar political-thriller scenes, tedious shoot-outs and not nearly enough about the historical conspiracy so nicely hinted at in the early stages. It ends up as dull and routine which was a shame after the promising start.

I can imagine that this might do something in the US all the same–it has certain parochial characteristics which would normally prevent it being done in the UK but which America seems to like. The buzzy philosophy element would certainly provide an angle in marketing terms and even though it’s dull, the book has a certain charm. I don’t really fancy this for Arrow at all, but I wouldn’t be very surprised if it sold for a quite a lot in the US.

For the record: there are no shoot-outs, it sold for very little in the US, and I’ll take “dull” but with “a certain charm” as a compliment. It’s better than “dull and charmless.”