Last month I received an e-mail from the New Books Network site editor asking if I want to respond to a publisher's offer to review James Carl Nelson's new book on Clifton Cates. Now I had never heard of Cates or Nelson, but I figured that since this was a publisher's offer it would be in the best interest of the site to have good relations with them so I said yes.
Once I received it we scheduled the interview and it's coming up next week, so I decided to start reading the book. It's not bad, but Nelson strains a little too hard in his narrative to be novelistic and it can come across as a little too melodramatic. His prose isn't exactly purple, but it definitely has a tinge of violet to it. In that respect it's proving to be an interesting change of pace from some of the more academic texts that I've read recently, but it's not something that I would have cracked but for the interview.