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The Great Good Thing by Klavan

Over the summer, a friend mentioned Andrew Klavan and recommended his book The Great Good Thing: A Secular Jew Comes to Faith in Christ. Klavan lives in nearby Montecito and is best known for crime, suspense, and thriller novels, a couple of which have been turned into movies. I recognized the name and recalled that I heard him speak years ago at the Santa Barbara Writers Conference. The Great Good Thing intrigued me, but at the time I was enjoying the ocean too much to bother reading it. Finally, over the Labor Day weekend, I dove into the book. I also discovered that I still had the notes I took during his talk at the conference. My notes are sparse and cryptic but I recalled clearly his discussion on suspense versus surprise in fiction and could flesh out the notes.

In suspense, the audience is aware of a danger the character isn’t. In an obvious, well-known Hitchcock example, someone is taking a shower and is unaware a killer is approaching. 

A surprise is merely something that hap…

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