I do not think that Victor Kelleher is an exceptional thriller writer. However I do agree to the statement which says that “Del-Del grips like a vice and holds the reader taut, on a nerves edge, until the final page. Victor Kelleher is a very talented thriller writer, the technique where he drops small clues in the text as to a possible ending is one to be admired and his fantastic techniques which he uses is the best thing about Del-Del, Unfortunately Kelleher did not show his greatest work in this narrative.
His technique where he dropped fake trails did not create anticipation like he had hoped for the reason that he overused this technique too much. The ending was also a tad lame and also would have perturbed the reader. We also found that the shifting of genre bewildered the reader and was too big a risk for such a small book. To keep the reader from becoming uninterested in the book, a good thriller author would drop various hints, or trails. These trails are usually a probable idea of what could be the ending, or in this case, the answer to Del-Del.
As mentioned before, this will keep the reader interested in the book as they will be curious to find out if the ending is as they predicted. Examples of this in Del-Del are shown throughout the book and in all three sections. The main one in each section is when the family believes that Del-Del is what Sam leads them to be, meaning that the reader thinks this as well. For example in the first section, the reader thinks that Del-del is the beast possessing Sam’s body.
In the second section, the reader thinks that Del-Del is an alien voyager and in the third section, the first half finds the reader thinking that Del-Del is the voyager and in the second part of the third section the reader finally discovers what Del-Del really is. As well as that in the first section Kelleher drops the hint that Del-Del is just Sam trying to expressing his feeling about Laura dying in page twenty seven when Hannah says what the psychiatrist said about Sam.
Up to here, this is probably about as many false trails as is good for a book this size. Maybe even a little bit too much. Kelleher put far too many false trails. And the false trails outnumber the number of trails that lead to the right. In fact, the number of false trails compared to the number of right trails is about six to one, which is far too many. This can frustrate reader. So in conclusion while Kelleher is usually good at dropping false trails and hints, he overused it in this novel and the result was leaving the reader annoyed and
possibly frustrated. One of the main things about a thriller book is suspense. Suspense is vital as without it the book would be just like every other action or horror book. Suspense also keeps the reader interested in the book. In this book Victor Kelleher creates suspense in a few ways. The main one is by leaving cliff-hangers at the end of each chapter. Each chapter finishes of with a short sentence with inconclusive information. This creates suspense because the short sentences never reveal what is going to happen next.
The reader then becomes curious as what is going to happen next and this creates suspense. Examples of this technique are in; Section one, chapter eight: “And this time she wasn’t alone”, section two, chapter three: “Into the time of waiting” and in section three, chapter four: “Back in my own room I lay awake for some time, listening uneasily to the many noises of the night. ” Another technique used to create suspense was telling the story from a first person point of view. The book is told from Beth’s (Sam’s older sister) point of view.
“Beth” does not reveal everything at the start, she plays at out like a recount or a diary, saying things as she was experiencing them without revealing the end. This relates to suspense because the reader will obviously want to know the ending. This opens up another technique for suspense because, as mentioned above, Kelleher attempted to drop false trails to keep the reader guessing. Example of this is in page 27 when Mum reveals the ‘shrink’s’ report. Kelleher convinces the reader that this is unimportant by having Desmond blow up over it.
As Beth thinks that this is unimportant, so does the reader. Kelleher uses 1st person storytelling to create suspense by having Beth mislead by circumstance and therefore the reader as well. So here, the author did a very good job when he put suspense in his novel. Suspense was the best part of the novel. As mentioned before, the author dropped a lot of hints and false trails too keep the author guessing. Kelleher also used a lot of suspense in his novel. So with all of this suspense one would hope for a fantastic and overwhelming ending. However this was far from the case.
The ending was similar to the classic “And then he woke up from the dream” type ending. If one of those came up in a book, I am sure this would infuriate the reader. This was remarkably similar. All it was is Sam trying to show his feelings about Laura dying. This was rather lame and many of the readers would have found this annoying and maddening. Another negative was that Kelleher decided to take a risk with this book and changed the genres twice in the book. The first section, which showed the beast and his rants, was a bit of a thriller horror genre.
Then in the second section it changed to a thriller/sci-fi genre. And in the third section, it became a psychological thriller genre. For a large book this would be a successful way to create suspense. However when a small book like Del-Del (195 pages) changes genre twice, it tends to confuse the reader. They will be confused as to what is actually happening. This is what happened with Del-Del. Instead of creating suspense, it created confusion. Kelleher’s risk to change genres failed because it created confusion instead of suspense, and therefore it was a wasted and failed effort.
In conclusion although Victor Kelleher was a successful writer overall, he did not do his best work in Del-Del. Although he put the perfect amount of suspense in the novel, he overdid the false trails and hints throughout the book and this ended up confusing and frustrating the reader. With the amount of false trails and suspense in the book, one would expect the ending to be a massive and unexpected ending. This was not the case and instead had a very lame ending where Del-Del was just Sam trying and failing to express his emotions.
This sort of ending would also have annoyed the reader. As well as that the reader would also have been confused with the changing of genres. The book changes from a horror thriller to a sci-fi thriller to a psychological thriller. Instead of creating more suspense Kelleher had hoped, it created confusion as the reader would not have known what was going on. So it is because of this that I say that although Victor Kelleher is not an exceptional thriller writer, Del-Del does grips like a vice and holds the reader taut, on a nerves edge, until the final page.
Courtney from Study Moose
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