I probably ought to be reading research books – somehow I always forget to do that before I start writing! – but I started reading Empires of Sand a few nights ago. The beginning was fantastic – almost as good a beginning as the first chapter of Snow Crash – but I’m finding it harder to suspend my disbelief as the characters do silly things.
What keeps me going, however, is the knowledge that eventually they’re going to leave France behind and head off to the Sahara. Which is how I’m justifying reading the book in the first place.