If you’re a writer (and you avid readers will nod at this, too), you’ve surely heard from agents or editors that you should begin a novel with six guns blazing and go higher from there. Or you have thirty pages to capture the reader’s complete attention.
Fortunately some books grow slowly, setting the table piece by piece. But to do this isn’t necessarily a condition of plot; instead, it’s more a case of how gifted the writer is.
Mischa Berlinski showed in Fieldwork that he’s just this sort of writer.