Mike Magnuson: Heft on Wheels
I purchased a hardback in one of my favourite second hand bookshops over the weekend. The shop is way across town, and I usually have to make a special trip to get there, but I’m almost always happy to have made the effort to get there. The shop itself is called The Legendary Hard to Find (but worth the effort) Second Hand Bookshop and its well worth a visit for anyone passing through my home town of Auckland, New Zealand. (Jason Books in the central city is also worth dropping in on if you’re a second hand book hound)
The book in question had an intriguing cover – a naked fat chap, cycling through a suburban setting on a racing bike – so I picked it up and had a quick read inside, and the writers skill was obvious from the first paragraph. The author, Mike Magnuson, who by the way is a writing teacher at Pacific University in the States, is one of those blessed authors that manages to keep his sentences simple and flowing and engaging and just plain easy to read. His writing is a lot like William Zinsser’s in that regard, which makes it a page turner.
Now I’m sure he works at his craft like the rest of us, but he has that rarest of talents that allows him to get his final draft just so. I can’t count the times I’ve over-processed an article, or a chapter, while trying to perfect it, so I’m always super impressed when I read great work. If you are searching for a bit of clarity in your own writing, Heft on Wheels might just show you what it looks like …