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The Writing Class by Jincy Willett
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The Writing Class (2008)

by Jincy Willett

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3362832,756 (3.49)12
Recently added bykwbridge, GSLulos, private library, PJ817, Revekka, MmeRose, thewordyhero, DayZee, sdmtngirl

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Showing 1-5 of 28 (next | show all)
It started out well and I enjoyed the characters, then it began to unravel for me. I'd put it down in hopes it would be "better" when I picked it back up but a little more than halfway through the book I ended up turning it back into the library and picking up something that held my interest. Perhaps I'll try again in the future but for now . . . ( )
  sdmtngirl | Apr 3, 2014 |
A fast, fun read; an enjoyable mystery, wrapped in a writing class, inside a meditation on storytelling and the oft-times frustrated storytellers who tell them.

I read this after being (mostly) stood up for a first "date" with the members of my nascent writing group. I sat in the bookstore and ate carrot cake and plowed through this page-turner and thought to myself, ha ha, now I'm going to add all of you to the list of people I hope to spite with my writing, well, not you, Nathan, at least you managed to make it to the appropriate Starbucks at the previously-agreed-upon date and time; I'll spare you my spite, but don't cross me, Nathan.

Perhaps reading about murderous writers isn't the best thing for me right now. ( )
  melaniemaksin | Oct 14, 2013 |
I loved Jincy Willet’s hilarious second book about aging novelist and writing instructor Amy Gallup so much that I doubled back to read this first one. While this has the same main character and I enjoyed it a lot, The Writing Class is very different from its sequel and I liked the second book more. Amy Falls Down is absurd, funny, insightful, and moving, and while The Writing class has all of those qualities they aren’t as strong and it’s first and foremost a mystery--an element that is not part of the second book about Amy Gallup at all.

As a mystery, The Writing Class is a curious but interesting hybrid, part humorous cozy and part chilling psychological thriller. I have a low fear threshold so I may not be a good judge, but some sections of this book were the most chilling, scary reading I have done for a while. Guessing who the likely suspect was didn’t dissipate my unease at all--which greatly impresses me. Another very cool thing about this book is that Amy uses her skill as a writer and instructor of fiction to solve the crime. Both books featuring Amy Gallup would be great for wanna-be or beginning authors because a lot of discussion about the process of fiction writing is seamlessly integrated into the plot.

As a side note, Amy Gallup, fictional character, has a website with the off putting title GO AWAY which includes crazy lists, mash-up titles with crossbred plot descriptions, and links to nowhere. It turns out Jincy Willet, real life novelist, has a similarly eccentric website, I WOULD NOT BURN THE LIBRARY OF ALEXANDRIA FOR YOU, that’s worth checking out if you enjoy her writing.

http://www.jincywillett.com/journal/pick-a-lib/ ( )
  Jaylia3 | Aug 11, 2013 |
This was a wonderful surprise. My sister had given it to me for Christmas-- one of those books I never would have picked up for myself-- and once I started reading, I couldn't put it down. Jincy Willett's portrayal of Amy, the aging, overweight, one-time-author who now teaches writing classes, and her ragtag bunch of students is full of humor and insight. And when a whodunnit is thrown into the mix (one of the members of the class is slowly killing off the other members), so much the better. As an added bonus, Willett knows her stuff about writing, and manages to slip in quite a bit of wisdom about the writing and publishing worlds. A very satisfying read. ( )
  KimJD | Apr 8, 2013 |
Anyone ever heard of this?
  AlCracka | Apr 2, 2013 |
Showing 1-5 of 28 (next | show all)
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For Chip Willett
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Lumbers into class five minutes late, dragging, along with her yard-wide butt, a beat-up vinyl briefcase stuffed with old notebooks.
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Book description
Amy Gallup was a promising writer once — published and highly praised at twenty-two. It was all downhill from there, and now, year in and year out, she teaches a writing workshop at the local university extension. And this semester begins just the same as the others. But then there's a threatening phone call, followed by obscene threats worked into the student peer evaluations. Then a murder — and every one of the students is a suspect.

The clues are hidden in their writing, and she (and we) can solve the murder only by looking more closely at each writer's attempts at fiction. Hilarious, vicious, and elegantly written, The Writing Class examines the desperation, perversion, and mania of the writing life through an unforgettable mystery story.

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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0312330669, Hardcover)

Amy Gallup is gifted, perhaps too gifted for her own good. Published at only twenty-two, she peaked early and found critical but not commercial success. Now her former life is gone, along with her writing career and beloved husband. A reclusive widow, her sole companion a dour, flatulent basset hound who barely tolerates her, her daily mantra Kill Me Now, she is a loner afraid to be alone. Her only bright spot each week is the writing class that she teaches at the university extension.

This semester’s class is full of the usual suspects: the doctor who wants to be the next Robin Cook, the overly enthusiastic repeat student, the slacker, the unassuming student with the hidden talent, the prankster, the know-it-all…. Amy’s seen them all before. But something is very different about this class---and the clues begin with a scary phone call in the middle of the night and obscene threats instead of peer evaluations on student writing assignments. Amy soon realizes that one of her students is a very sick puppy, and when a member of the class is murdered, everyone becomes a suspect. As she dissects each student’s writing for clues, Amy must enlist the help of everyone in her class, including the murderer, to find the killer among them.

Suspenseful, extremely witty, brilliantly written, unexpectedly hilarious, and a joy from start to finish, The Writing Class is a one-of-a-kind novel that rivals Jincy Willett’s previous masterpieces.

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:32:05 -0400)

(see all 3 descriptions)

"Amy Gallup is gifted, perhaps too gifted for her own good. Published at only twenty-two, she peaked early and found critical but not commercial success. Now her former life is gone, along with her writing career and beloved husband. A reclusive widow, Amy's daily mantra is Kill Me Now, her sole companion a dour, flatulent basset hound who barely tolerates her - she is a loner afraid to be alone. The only bright spot each week is the writing class that she teaches at the university extension." "This semester's class is full of the usual suspects: the doctor who wants to be the next Robin Cook, the overly enthusiastic repeat student, the slacker, the unassuming pupil with the hidden talent, the prankster, the know-it-all.... Amy's seen them all before. But something is very different about this class - and the clues begin with a scary phone call in the middle of the night and obscene threats instead of peer evaluations on writing assignments. Amy soon realizes that one of the callers is a very sick puppy, and when a member of the class is murdered, everyone becomes a suspect. As she dissects each student's writing for clues, Amy must enlist the help of everyone in her class, including the murderer, to find the killer among them."--BOOK JACKET.… (more)

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Penguin Australia

An edition of this book was published by Penguin Australia.

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