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Reader's Report for Ninth Day of Creation

The following reader's report was obtained from a well-known New York-based literary agency. They were good enough to forward me the report despite passing on the book (which is why I am inclined not to identify them here).

As Ninth Day of Creation has now been published by Connection Books, and is available from or through The Ingram Book Company (ISBN 0967571294), the only reason I am leaving this page up is to demonstrate that you can have a fairly good review on your manuscript and still manage to not get very far with your publishing efforts.

Reader's report from anonymous New York agency

"Ninth Day of Creation needs to be trimmed about 12 percent---particularly in the beginning (the entire ms. is 290,000 words)---but you seldom come across a first novelist who can structure so much material so effortlessly. There are usually five major plot-lines in motion at any given instant. As far as I can tell, seldom is any scene or event out of order. Leonard Crane uses a short-chapter, heavily dialogued format---and there is a stunning clue or a piece of violence at the end of each chapter. He almost never drops the ball.
     To begin with, Crane is a first rate intelligence. And I don't just adduce the Ph.D. in physics to prove that. His science writing on naval matters leaves Clancy in the dust. His description of matters biological (the villains recreate the 1918 influenza bug) is as good as whazzisname who wrote Microbe Hunters. I think Crane---who calls himself a generalist and obviously has a wide-ranging mind---could be another Michael Crichton.
     You don't want to read [the entire manuscript]. I do suggest, however, that you read the narrative of a sea battle between an American aircraft carrier task force and a Chinese submarine. Pure C.S. Forester. When I got out of my chair, I had to wait for my land legs to come back. The whole book is a candidate for a film buy---but the naval scenes, given the success of Private Ryan, are particularly suitable. (The title is excellent.)
     Crane uses diagrams and maps and newspapers to enliven the page. He seems, indeed, to be enjoying himself. His dialogue and third person prose improve as he writes. Some of the characters are overdone (i.e. the Mexican President, Montoya), but his Oval Office conversations (always difficult to write) are very credible. This is a major commercial talent. You could probably sic him on any scientific subject and get top-flight work. And I wouldn't be surprised if he can write non-fiction as well.
     Page 488 should be avoided. My cat threw up on it and I had to do some, uh, editing.

Author's note: I'm not sure about that reference to Microbe Hunters. I think the reader may have meant "Virus Hunter," by C. J. Peters and Mark Olshaker, but I'm only guessing. As for that overdone president, well, I'm not too surprised at being called on that one. After all, she was the only character whose personality I based on a living person.

For those wishing to know more about the book, please check out the Introduction, or visit the book's detail page at

IntroductionSynopsisTaubenbergerReviewAuthor's BioSelling PointsBird Flu
Spanish FluViewpointPrologueChapter OneChapter TwoTop Page
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