Alexander McCall Smith

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What is George's initial reaction to the critic in "No Place to Park" by Alexander McCall Smith? Why does he change his mind?

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In this short story, George Harris is a writer of murder mysteries. At a literary festival in Perth, a book critic has challenged him and other writers of the genre to write about some sort of mundane crime, something less gruesome than murder. When the critic suggests that someone write...

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In this short story, George Harris is a writer of murder mysteries. At a literary festival in Perth, a book critic has challenged him and other writers of the genre to write about some sort of mundane crime, something less gruesome than murder. When the critic suggests that someone write a mystery about parking violations, everyone in attendance laughs at this idea, including George. They think it humorous that someone could seriously suggest writing an entire novel about something so commonplace and seemingly uninteresting as parking violations. This is an audience that has come to enjoy reading the graphic details of murder stories. They wonder what could be so entertaining about enforcing parking regulations that could fill an entire novel.

Although he first laughs at the notion, George quickly changes his mind. He had been looking for inspiration for a new novel. Why not write one about illegal parking? There being an overabundance of novels about murder, perhaps a book about the much smaller crime of illegal parking could help him stand out from the crowd and make a bigger name for himself. George also feels that readers might welcome something more lighthearted and fanciful than another grim story of murder.

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