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Cannibals Author Revives the Episodic
A long tradition of suspense was shelved for many years by the short attention span of modern readers. Aaron K Smith’s new book reminds us that good things come to those who wait.
Smith’s crime thriller, No Family For Cannibals, is a complete novel published in short episodes. He begins the book with a scene that reads like the opening of Law and Order, Criminal Minds, or CSI.
“I use well-known literary devices created by those shows to make the reader feel comfortable, and then we go for a ride,” Smith said in an interview on the publisher’s website. “It is a technique that allowed me to make the text flow more like a TV episode than a novel, especially in regards to length. The characters cover a lot of ground fast.”
Since readers only get a portion of the overall arc with each episode the book comes with a “cliffhanger warning” on Amazon, who estimates the average person can read each episode in about the time it takes to watch a movie.
Smith is not the first author to release a book in series format. So-called “chapbooks” were popular in the 16th through the 19th centuries, and they were how much of the world’s literature was distributed. Nursery rhymes, almanacs, and even the legendary Federalist Papers were originally published in installments.
Today, the television episodic has replaced its written predecessor. Smith’s No Family For Cannibals aims to bridge the divide—positioning itself somewhere between “Silence of the Lambs,” the novel by Thomas Harris, and HBO’s critically acclaimed “True Detective” series.
If you do not consider yourself a reader, but like the crime genre, you may still enjoy No Family For Cannibals. Unlike conventional books, Smith’s thriller is accompanied by a video trailer and other bonus materials free on the publisher’s website, 412C.com.
No Family For Cannibals is available from most major online retailers, including Amazon Kindle, Apple iBooks, and coming soon to Barnes and Noble’s eReader, the Nook.