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The Writing Class by Jincy Willett
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The Writing Class (original 2008; edition 2008)

by Jincy Willett

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3913339,545 (3.42)16
Member:bpollack
Title:The Writing Class
Authors:Jincy Willett
Info:Thomas Dunne Books (2008), Hardcover, 336 pages
Collections:Your library
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The Writing Class by Jincy Willett (2008)

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Showing 1-5 of 33 (next | show all)
Innocent and uncommitted this writing class may seem at first but as the plot unfolds dark feelings suddenly creep in and jolt your senses; suspicions are aroused as you dismiss clues for red herrings and are drawn deeper into the characters. ( )
  paperdust | Jan 17, 2018 |
If a member of your night class were murdering classmates, wouldn't you find something better to do those evenings? So would I, but thankfully the members of the writing class in Jincy Willett's "The Writing Class" keep coming back for more.

That's just one of the things about the novel that don't quite add up, but I don't think a realistic murder mystery was Willett's objective in her 2008 novel. It is more a satire on writing classes, literary aspirations and even murder mysteries themselves.

Amy Gallup is a novelist, or former novelist, whose books are out of print and whose literary career, like her personal life, lies in ruins. To support herself and her dog, she teaches a writing class for adults, most of whom have little or no talent but who pay the fees, so they're in. Just wanting to be a writer is good enough for Amy. That's more ambition than she has anymore.

Even early on it is clear some member of her new class has a screw loose. Ominous phone messages, notes, etc., keep appearing as the weeks go on. Then one class member is found dead, then another. The police don't take it seriously. (Since Edgar Allan Poe, Arthur Conan Doyle and Agatha Christie, police incompetence has been more rule than exception in murder mysteries.) Since her class refuses to disband (and she needs the money), Amy realizes it is up to her to find the Sniper, as the killer is dubbed.

"The Writing Class," sometimes interesting and sometimes not, doesn't earn an A, but it is good enough to make you glad you kept coming back for more. ( )
  hardlyhardy | Jul 31, 2017 |
Very entertaining. ( )
  laurenbufferd | Nov 14, 2016 |
"The funniest novel I had read, possibly ever"-Augusten Burroughs.

I don't know what this bloke reads that this book doesn't even register on my radar for funny novels.

Dull? Yes;
Dreary? Yes;
Longwinded? Yes;
Shallow characters? Yes;
Do you have any investment in who the killer is? Not at all.

I was giving serious consideration to abandoning this when I was 1/2 way in and a whole lot of not much had really happened, by 3/4 I really wanted to throw it out the window and let the geese chew it up however I felt the need the finish the last 70 pages so I could at least say I tried.

Well, I tried. I basically have nothing positive to day about the book beyond it being a unique, albeit poorly executed, concept. ( )
  HenriMoreaux | Sep 8, 2016 |
Interesting concept of having a real life mystery within a writing class. Unique idea of using writing concepts such as analyzing use of language to catch the culprit. ( )
1 vote JenniferRobb | Jan 17, 2016 |
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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 Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:11:01 -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)

(summary from another edition)

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