The Writing Class

The Writing Class

Book - 2008
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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.

Publisher: New York : Thomas Dunne Books/St. Martin's Press, 2008.
Edition: 1st ed.
ISBN: 9780312330668
Characteristics: vii, 326 p. ; 22 cm.


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Jun 01, 2017

I agree with others that the mystery isn't the author's strong point, but that's not what the book is really about. It's a funny take on writer's groups, dysfunction, loneliness, and a murder mystery. The main character's method of being a misanthrope rather backfires as she can't help but draw people towards her. She's talented, clueless, funny, and sad. Her blog post is hilarious, called "Go Away: A Solipsist's Commonplace Book of Lists", which features lists such as: Funny-Looking Words (lardoon, disembosom, blotto) and Hybrid Novels (Beast in the Jungle Book. On his deathbed, Mowgli is horrified to realize that he has wasted his entire life in the damn jungle).

cals_flss Sep 29, 2015

As a whodunit, it falls a little short, but the reader ends up liking the protagonist Amy in spite (and maybe even because) of her misanthropic tendencies. Worth a look for anyone interested in creative writing, or anyone who enjoys quirky stories with even quirkier characters.

Sep 17, 2013

Wow. This is the one word that came to mind when I finished this book. I'm a huge fan of Jincy Willett; I'm not sure if mystery is her best writing genre. I actually found the 'mystery' parts of this novel the most taxing and I wished she would stay with her usual hysterical and uplifting self. Kudos in being able to fool me the entire time about who the murderer was.


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