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Paperback Writer

3.08  ·  Rating Details ·  87 Ratings  ·  17 Reviews
Paul James Watson is the writer of mid-list paperback novels. His humdrum life is flat, routine, and generally unimpressive, and his Christian life follows suit. Watson becomes absorbed in the novels he writes. His character, Toby McKenna, who is a highly successful detective who always solves the crime, and heroically puts his life on the line for justice, is the antithes ...more
Paperback, 342 pages
Published February 4th 2004 by B&H Publishing Group (first published 2003)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 134)
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Denise
Jun 23, 2014 Denise rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
SRP (Summer Reading Program) Why Bite: What could have been an interesting plot is muddled by a confusing gimmick, repetitiveness, and low reading level.

I haven’t read any Christian fiction since junior high, but I thought I’d give it a shot. Bly is well known in the genre, so when I came across this book in the library, I decided to pick it up. Indeed, Bly is evidently enough of a literary success that he felt justified in the cheesy move of having the main character refer to him as a successfu
...more
Ron
Aug 21, 2008 Ron rated it really liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Allison
Sep 17, 2009 Allison rated it did not like it
After having read this book I wish I could say that I loved it, but honestly it was rather frustrating. The main character, Paul James Watson, is a mediocre novelist who has a difficult time distinguishing between reality vs. his imagination. Well, I had the same problem. I spent more time trying to figure out which was which than actually reading the book. Throughout the entire book "Paul James Watson" (who by the way is always referred to by his full name...which became annoying) is talking to ...more
Melissa
Feb 02, 2008 Melissa rated it liked it
This is the first Stephen Bly novel I've read, and since I know his other books are much different (Western/Historical) I am willing to give them a try.
This one was confusing and a little hard for me to follow. Once I stopped trying as much to figure out everything and just read for reading's sake, it was quite interesting. I could identify with having fantasies, because I often imagine talking to people I know (not characters from my stories, though I do write) and being more outspoken than I a
...more
Hannah
Jun 14, 2012 Hannah rated it really liked it
This was an interesting book. If you've ever questioned what was truth and what was fiction, this is the book for you. I love the fact that Stephen Bly just has us all along for the ride, I like not knowing the ending within the first three chapters of a book, and that's hard to do given that I've read a lot of novels. I don't normally go for action/cop/mystery books, but this one was phenominal. It was also incredibly fast paced, which helped because I often have the feeling that I'm wasting my ...more
Dawn
Feb 03, 2014 Dawn rated it it was ok
Well this was disappointing. This book sounded so interesting and I was so excited to read it and it turned out to be a huge let-down. All the guy does through the whole book is drive around and have imaginary conversations. OR DOES HE? Yeah, it's exactly as boring and confusing as it sounds.
Princess Cinnamoroll
Jul 12, 2010 Princess Cinnamoroll rated it did not like it
"Paul James Watson Stephen Bly is the writer of mediocre paperback novels. His humdrum life novel Paperback Writer is flat, routine, and generally unimpressive, and his Christian lifepseudo-musings follow suit."

Bly breaks a cardinal rule of writing books by calling his characters by whichever name or nickname he feels. Our MC is Paul James Watson, Paul Watson, Watson, P.J. SO ANNOYING WHAT'S WITH BLY'S OBSESSION WITH MIDDLE NAMES

Never write again. Seriously just, just no.
I can say, with certaint
...more
Jen
May 14, 2012 Jen rated it liked it
The first chapter hooked me into the plot line, as the main character's perception shifted from fiction to reality. It became more and more difficult to tell what was reality and what was fiction as the story went along--which mirrored the main character's difficulty in defining the two as well. I felt the Christian theme was very forced onto the plot line--in some parts, it stood out like a sore thumb. I do appreciate how clean the book is and its positive message. Overall, it was entertaining ...more
Tiffany
Jun 30, 2012 Tiffany rated it it was ok
Yet another book that reminded me strongly of Cormac McCarthy. (Hint: I don't like Cormac McCarthy.) It was a brilliant premise, and I'm still rather fond of the idea, but it had far too much dialogue for my taste. It wasn't nearly as confusing as the reviews made it out to be- I just assumed that everything was fiction, and didn't worry about what was real and what wasn't, and that made it better. If there had been more real life mixed in, or if it had actually mattered what was real and what w ...more
Clifford
Jul 31, 2015 Clifford rated it liked it
Shelves: read-2015
Sparkling read fiction episode with reality outcome.
Amy
Feb 05, 2016 Amy rated it liked it
Very odd little book. Worth reading just for the experience.
Erin
Jan 07, 2008 Erin rated it liked it
A zany look inside the brain of Paul James Watson, writer of the popular Toby McKenna detective books. After so many years in the world of fiction with McKenna the lines of reality begin to blur for Paul... or did his life suddenly become more dramatic than it has ever been before? Just when you think you've figured out what is going on the plot turns again.
Jodie
Apr 06, 2009 Jodie rated it liked it
This book is really kind of strange, just because of the way it is written. If I recall correctly, an author is living inside his writings or something like that .... I said it was confusing !!!! Overall, I didn't think it was one of Stephen Blys' better books.
Devin
Apr 26, 2013 Devin rated it it was ok
I was pretty much confused from start to finish. In the end after still not quite figuring out what was fact and what was fiction I eventually gave up and just enjoyed the writing for its' very unique quality.
Jane
May 05, 2008 Jane rated it really liked it
Very interesting. At times it is hard to tell fiction from reality, and make out what is really happening in the story, but that is part of the charm. It is about imagination and a paperback writer.
Stefani Reynolds
Sep 09, 2009 Stefani Reynolds rated it it was amazing
Steven Bly is ridiculously creative and keeps you guessing until the very end.
Rachel
Mar 19, 2010 Rachel rated it did not like it
This was just so odd.
Diana Neeley
Diana Neeley rated it really liked it
Sep 11, 2016
Marie
Marie rated it it was amazing
Jun 16, 2016
LadySnowAngel
LadySnowAngel rated it liked it
Jun 15, 2016
Katie
Katie rated it did not like it
May 18, 2016
R. Ann
R. Ann added it
Apr 30, 2016
Otterfluff
Otterfluff marked it as to-read
Mar 28, 2016
Sherry
Sherry marked it as to-read
Mar 26, 2016
Vindi
Vindi marked it as to-read
Mar 14, 2016
Cyn
Cyn added it
Feb 13, 2016
Elizabeth
Elizabeth rated it liked it
Feb 26, 2016
Odelia
Odelia added it
Jan 22, 2016
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Stephen Bly (August 17, 1944 - June 9, 2011) authored 100 books and hundreds of articles. His book, THE LONG TRAIL HOME, (Broadman & Holman), won the prestigious 2002 CHRISTY AWARD for excellence in Christian fiction in the category western novel. Three other books, PICTURE ROCK (Crossway Books), THE OUTLAW'S TWIN SISTER (Crossway Books), and LAST OF THE TEXAS CAMP (Broadman & Holman), wer ...more
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