I started reading Harlan Cohen’s most recent book, A Boy From the Woods, late Friday night, and I finished it this afternoon. The 384 pages (actually 624 pages since it was the large print edition) just flew right by. I didn’t want to stop reading it.
This is not the first time this has happened with one of his books.
So I started to wonder – why is that?
What is it about his writing that is so compelling that I literally have to turn the next page? That everything else becomes secondary?
I know I don’t have that gift. Heck I’ve started to read some of my old blog posts, and lose interest halfway through and go on to something else.
I was the same way with The Count of Monte Cristo; I remember being late for one of my classes because I just had to finish a chapter (the students didn’t seem to mind, and were probably happy that class would be a few minutes shorter than usual).
Since Harlan’s books are always on the bestseller lists, I guess I’m not the only one who enjoys his books.
He has branched into visual media, including a film, as well as several miniseries that have been quite popular on Netflix. We have watched them all, just wrapping up The Woods last week.
I don’t know if such writing came to Coben naturally, or if it is something he studied or just practiced, practiced, practiced. He was a political science major in college (where he was in the same fraternity as future bestselling author Dan Brown). He was also childhood friends with former New Jersey governor Chris Christie.
So now I have to wait another year or so for his next book to come out, and when it does, I’ll probably go into seclusion once again…
By the way, he’s also got a fun Twitter account to follow, for those of you who might be interested…