Merritt books go digital

Four of my novels are now available in digital format for the principal eReaders: Kindle, iPad, and Nook. The “Hatch Trilogy” is not available on eBooks; they were circumvented by a return to the original one volume version of what was bastardized into the “Hatch Trilogy.”

ONE EASY PIECEOne Easy Piece, published in 1982 by Coward-McCann, was my first published novel. It is a harrowing and admittedly difficult to read (although I am told it is compelling and impossible to put down) story of a young woman who naively enters a relationship with a wild and romantic older man, and sees it descend into the horrors of psychosexual abuse.

The Last Island is the original one-volume version of what became the “Hatch Trilogy,” published in three volumes by Bantam Books between 1985 and 1988. This version is published for the first time only as a digital book.

This is the story of Frank Hatcher, called Hatch; a burnt out case who washes up on a tropical island, only to find a decade later that the world he escaped from will not leave him alone.

Possessed by Shadows, published by Other Press in 2005, is the tragic love story of the last year in the life of a young climber, who with her husband, returns to the Tatra Mountains of (then) Czechoslovakia, for one last glorious adventure in the mountains. It is my wife’s favorite of all my books.

The Common Bond, published by Other Press in 2009, is the story of Morgan Cary, a fisherman in Hawaii, who falls in love with a mad woman named Victoria. In the story, we trace the descent of Victoria’s madness and its effect on Morgan, who suffers from unconquerable guilt over her death. At least until there is hope for some measure of redemption when Morgan encounters a local Hawaiian family who more or less take him in.

The story is set in Hilo, Hawaii, southern California, and Iowa.

The two Other Press books are in print and can be ordered from any bookstore or from Amazon. One Easy Piece is out of print and only available from used book outlets. The Last Island is a digital original, only available on an eReader.

If you read any of these books, I would love to hear from you about them.


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8 replies »

  1. I don’t have any eReaders and have never read a book on one, my books or anybody’s books. But I have no problem with people who read that way, as long as they read.

  2. Yes, I knew that Don, I was just ribbing you. You should get an iPad yourself, though, since you got a Mac, and try reading on it one day a week. It works, really. Believe me. I felt the same way you do now, just a year ago, but now I have no problems reading anything on an eReader. I figured, when I started, what the heck, I can’t hold back the world for me. This is the future of reading and books. Now, as a matter of fact, I even enjoy reading on my iPad. I still have my old-fahioned library, and I don’t think I will give up my bound books until they rip them from my cold dead fingers. Until then, I’ll be reading electronically and the old-style way. Who knows, I may move toward reading exclusively on e’s, but at least I know where I’ll be when the power grid goes down. I’ll be in my study, lying on my couch with a book open-spined on my chest.

    • Holly has an iPad; I bought it for her some months ago. I have looked at it, but since I have a Mac Air, which is only slightly larger than an iPad, but is a fully functioning computer, and because Kindle has an app for Mac, there’s no duplicate that with a device that is less than the computer I already have.

      I got the Kindle app on my Mac and downloaded two trivial books onto it. Sometimes when I burn out and can’t work anymore at the cafe, I read a bit from the Kindle app while eating lunch — I’m reading a Chelsa Handler book on it. It’s not much different from reading something off Huffington Post on the screen. I read it so infrequently that in two months I’m not quite halfway through.

      In other words, I’ve tried it and am familiar with it, but it doesn’t work for me. I am unable to read anything more serious than Chelsa Handler on it, and that only works because it’s just light entertainment reading.

      Just last night Holly finished reading “Freedom” on her iPad. She previously read “Wolf’s Hall” on it. Major serious reads. She told me that at the end of those books she didn’t feel like she had really read a book, and the experience felt unusually thin. She said she is tempted to read Freedom again (the book) to see what she missed. She said it feels like she isn’t absorbing at the same depth she does when reading a book.

      I think digital reading devices are okay, they are just, as Holly put it, too thin a reading experience for me.

      Maybe after I have time to think about it more, I’ll do a blog post on this, get it out of the comment section, and open it up for a more substantive discussion of the reading experience.

      Thanks for prompting me.

  3. I like your rambling, Rose. Come over here and ramble anytime you’re in the mood.

    I would like to know if any research has been done to see if there is a noticeable difference in the rate that what makes literature literature is absorbed?

    I believe that not all reading is the same. I believe the mind does different things depending on the medium of the read.

    I remember essentially every detail of Mann’s “Magic Mountain,” but in an hour or two I can’t remember anything that happened on the previous page of what I just read through the Kindle app on my computer.

    Maybe digital reading is Chinese food. You think you’re full, but a few hours later you’re empty again.

    • I wish it was that simple, Cinthia. I’ve looked at the Sony requirements and they are the most odd and indirect of any of the readers. When I have nothing else to do and my brain is free of its usual working clutter to concentrate on it, I’ll try again. Meanwhile … I do hope you find a way to read them, because I am curious about your opinion.

  4. I can’t figure how books get on the Sony Reader format, and the web page about it is more mystifying than clarifying. There seem to be so few Sony Readers relative to the other “big 3” – Kindle, iPad, and Nook – that I can’t see that it’s worth the rather enormous expenditure of time to go there.

    I don’t have enough experience reading digital books to compare it with reading real books; actually, I’ve never finished a book on an eReader, although I’ve only begun two. I’m reporting my wife’s experience; she has finished four or five, I think, and she reads the NYTimes on her iPad every morning and evening.

    I think there are different ways (different reasons, different expectations, etc.) people read books, particularly fiction. Why one reads, and the intellectual core of the reader, effect how one reads and how it is retained.

    Don’t you think?