Author Topic: Reading/Book Pet Peeves  (Read 241642 times)

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Margo

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Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
« Reply #2070 on: August 13, 2014, 05:45:36 AM »
ack. I read a (contemporary) murder mystery which was written by an American author but set in England.

She had done no research at all, as far as I could tell. I appreciate that minor points might slip through the net, but when the local, small town policeman turns up carrying a gun (Our police do not routinely carry firearms) followed by the Coroner (the coroner does not get involved until a much later stage, here)  I have to conclude that the author didn't do any research at all.

I gave up in the second chapter when it turned out that the motive related to a will. Which, as described, was totally invalid. Which would not have mattered so much, as murder suspects might not be aware of the law, but when the plot depended on the suspect *being a lawyer* and therefore able to get the will drawn up in the way that would benefit them..

I would name and shame the author but it was a library book and I returned it in disgust, and cannot now recall the title or author!


audhs

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Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
« Reply #2071 on: August 13, 2014, 10:04:23 AM »
Books that change perspective from one chapter to the next.  I find it very hard to keep up with the flow of the book, when I'm constantly trying to remember who's talking.

This is especially bad when the characters don't have a unique enough voice. The one I just read the characters were just to much the same, so i never knew who's head we were in.  It got tedious after awhile.

fidelejavert

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Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
« Reply #2072 on: August 13, 2014, 10:48:32 AM »
A friend once had to edit a romance novel in which a woman is trying to save her 10 year old son from becoming a sacrifice to whatever deities his family worships.  The thing is...tradition demands that the first born son of a first born son must be sacrificed.  That first born son would be her late husband who, presumably would have been sacrificed if his mother didn't spirit him off the island.  His father (also deceased because...sacrifice) was a first born son...so one has to ask, if we are sacrificing first born sons at the age of ten in each generation and they have to be first born sons of the previously sacrificed first born sons....uh....who are the (supposedly adult, according to the author) women marrying these nine year old boys in order to begat their first born sons...and what if it's a girl?

Maybe I'm overthinking this, but wouldn't it be possible to have a second-born son (grandfather) who wouldn't be sacrificed, his first-born son (father) would also not be sacrificed because his own father wasn't a first-born son, who then had a first-born son (child) who would be sacrificed.  But father could also have a second son, who would start the cycle again. So, not every generation of men in this line would be sacrificed but every three generations one person would be killed.

Does this make sense? I'm not completely sure I've understood the premise.

ladyknight1

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Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
« Reply #2073 on: August 13, 2014, 10:59:40 AM »
When a mystery/true crime book is in a state that uses medical examiners and the author writes about either a coroner or a funeral home director acting as a coroner. Shows how little research they did.

If you are interested on how the US divides this, here is a map and page with more information. http://www.npr.org/2011/02/03/131242432/graphics-how-is-death-investigated-in-your-state

wolfie

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Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
« Reply #2074 on: August 13, 2014, 11:05:25 AM »
I think we all notice errors in books based on our own experiences, but probably miss a lot of mistakes.  In the examples listed I would not have caught the  depends on the TV show, if I didn't watch it, probably not. 

Probably not, but you also wouldn't have picked up the book if you didn't watch the tv series. I think it is really rare for someone to read books based on shows you didn't watch.

knitwicca

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Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
« Reply #2075 on: August 13, 2014, 11:50:49 AM »
Not books but an TV series. 

I used to watch Saving Grace, interesting characters and set in my home state (Oklahoma). One quirk was that every character's name contained the name of a city or town somewhere in the state.

What drove me crazy was when the Oklahoma City detectives would be in their offices, get a call about a death in Chandler and be there in 15 minutes. (about a 2 hour drive)
Or head east on I-35 (all east/west interstates are even numbers) and get from Oklahoma City to Tulsa in half an hour. But it took all day to drive from Norman to Mustang (they butt up to one another these days)

Living in Florida, it makes me laugh when I read about a character driving to Key West on I-95. Right direction but the interstate ends well before Key West begins.

faithlessone

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Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
« Reply #2076 on: August 13, 2014, 12:50:53 PM »
Books that change perspective from one chapter to the next.  I find it very hard to keep up with the flow of the book, when I'm constantly trying to remember who's talking.

This is especially bad when the characters don't have a unique enough voice. The one I just read the characters were just to much the same, so i never knew who's head we were in.  It got tedious after awhile.

I just got done with one of these. It was a good story, but may as well have just been 3rd person narrated. I gave up keeping track of who was "speaking", because the characters all sounded exactly the same, all had reasonably similar opinions, and didn't really develop the story in any way. Boring!!

When done properly, though, I do quite like multiple POV. Particularly if it's only 2 or 3 narrators, and they have opposing viewpoints.

My latest peeve though, is the alternating timeline narrative device. (Or whatever it's called).

I recently read a book that was split so one chapter was set in the character's childhood, and the next was set in her adulthood, then back to a child, and so on. The most irritating and pointless narrative device ever. I could barely keep track of either storyline, because the chapters were short, and they moved at such different rates. The childhood chapters were set over about 6 years, and the adult ones over about 3 months. The adult chapters also made references to things that hadn't happened yet in the child chapters, which was pretty annoying. It could have been done really well, I suppose, but this was a very bad example.

Two Ravens

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Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
« Reply #2077 on: August 13, 2014, 02:07:54 PM »
Or on NCIS, where the producers seem to think Norfolk is only 45 minutes from the DC Naval Yard. Given the way 95 South is usually clogged with traffic, you'd be lucky to get there in four hours.

(And contrary to appearances, Virginia really looks nothing like Southern California. ;))

wolfie

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Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
« Reply #2078 on: August 13, 2014, 02:09:46 PM »
Or on NCIS, where the producers seem to think Norfolk is only 45 minutes from the DC Naval Yard. Given the way 95 South is usually clogged with traffic, you'd be lucky to get there in four hours.

(And contrary to appearances, Virginia really looks nothing like Southern California. ;))

On certain things I am willing to give - it would be very boring to have a show with the characters caught in traffic most of the time so I am okay with things that aren't real but let the story move on.

Two Ravens

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Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
« Reply #2079 on: August 13, 2014, 02:15:19 PM »
Or on NCIS, where the producers seem to think Norfolk is only 45 minutes from the DC Naval Yard. Given the way 95 South is usually clogged with traffic, you'd be lucky to get there in four hours.

(And contrary to appearances, Virginia really looks nothing like Southern California. ;))

On certain things I am willing to give - it would be very boring to have a show with the characters caught in traffic most of the time so I am okay with things that aren't real but let the story move on.

No one's saying they have the show the characters stuck in traffic. But what's the point of having a character say "We'll be there in a hour" when it's a physical impossibility (unless they're taking a helicopter). Just silly to me.

Sophia

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Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
« Reply #2080 on: August 13, 2014, 02:34:18 PM »
I'd have forgiven a less-well-funded author, but something in Stephen King's book about stopping the Kennedy assassination bugged the crap out of me.  He spends a great deal of effort to describe the area that Oswald was living in as white trash.  Junk in the yards, cars up on blocks, the whole nine yards.  But, back then that was a posh desirable neighborhood, really the opposite of white trash.    It had a severe decline afterward.  I didn't live in the area back then (I wasn't born) but even I know this.  If there wasn't plenty of money available for funding, and if he hadn't harped on the white trash-ness it wouldn't have bugged me so much.  His description of Dallas bugged me a little too, but then King is a small town boy. 

DCGirl

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Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
« Reply #2081 on: August 13, 2014, 05:08:10 PM »
I once went to see the great mystery writer P.D. James speak and she talked about a mistake in one of her books, where she sent the witness to a murder off to stay in the country via a very inconvenient train station.  London has more than one, and she dispatched the witness from Paddington, which would have necessitated multiple transfers for the destination, instead of Victoria, which had a direct line to it (and I am totally plugging in random train stations, but you get the gist).  She got letters upbraiding her for her sloppiness, but she also got a couple of letters commenting on how the service at Victoria (or whatever station it was) had so declined it was worth the extra transfers necessitated by using the other station.  So, different people notice different things differently. 

Photoperson

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Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
« Reply #2082 on: August 14, 2014, 01:48:41 PM »
Patricia Cornwell's POS book about Jack the Ripper.

Early in the book she talks about a murder that happened about three weeks before Jack's first confirmed kill and whines that the police didn't test the blood or do any blood spatter analysis. In 1888. Blood types weren't discovered until 1901. The first systematic study of blood stains wasn't published until 1895.

It took me 10 minutes of googling to find the above information. You'd think a so-called forensics expert would do a little research before whining about the police not doing something they couldn't do to begin with, but nnnnoooooo......

Not only that, but she claimed that the policemen of 1888 couldn't possibly have seen enough when examining the scene at night, even though they had lanterns.

Why?

Because she got the same kind of dark lantern (so called because a slide could be used to block the light without blowing out the flame) and did her very own professional research with it. She took it out on her patio after dark, lit it, and determined that since she could barely see anything, policemen walking the beat of one of London's worst neighborhoods would have had a similar problem. Because, of course, the police wouldn't have needed to see what was going on, or who was sneaking up on them, would they? Her assumption that dark lanterns provided virtually no light is so ignorant as to be almost unbelievable.

Kariachi

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Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
« Reply #2083 on: August 14, 2014, 03:32:18 PM »
A friend once had to edit a romance novel in which a woman is trying to save her 10 year old son from becoming a sacrifice to whatever deities his family worships.  The thing is...tradition demands that the first born son of a first born son must be sacrificed.  That first born son would be her late husband who, presumably would have been sacrificed if his mother didn't spirit him off the island.  His father (also deceased because...sacrifice) was a first born son...so one has to ask, if we are sacrificing first born sons at the age of ten in each generation and they have to be first born sons of the previously sacrificed first born sons....uh....who are the (supposedly adult, according to the author) women marrying these nine year old boys in order to begat their first born sons...and what if it's a girl?

Maybe I'm overthinking this, but wouldn't it be possible to have a second-born son (grandfather) who wouldn't be sacrificed, his first-born son (father) would also not be sacrificed because his own father wasn't a first-born son, who then had a first-born son (child) who would be sacrificed.  But father could also have a second son, who would start the cycle again. So, not every generation of men in this line would be sacrificed but every three generations one person would be killed.

Does this make sense? I'm not completely sure I've understood the premise.

That's what I was thinking. It makes perfect sense to me and seems like a perfectly good sacrifice target. Yarnspinner, are we missing something?
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wolfie

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Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
« Reply #2084 on: August 14, 2014, 03:35:43 PM »
A friend once had to edit a romance novel in which a woman is trying to save her 10 year old son from becoming a sacrifice to whatever deities his family worships.  The thing is...tradition demands that the first born son of a first born son must be sacrificed.  That first born son would be her late husband who, presumably would have been sacrificed if his mother didn't spirit him off the island.  His father (also deceased because...sacrifice) was a first born son...so one has to ask, if we are sacrificing first born sons at the age of ten in each generation and they have to be first born sons of the previously sacrificed first born sons....uh....who are the (supposedly adult, according to the author) women marrying these nine year old boys in order to begat their first born sons...and what if it's a girl?

Maybe I'm overthinking this, but wouldn't it be possible to have a second-born son (grandfather) who wouldn't be sacrificed, his first-born son (father) would also not be sacrificed because his own father wasn't a first-born son, who then had a first-born son (child) who would be sacrificed.  But father could also have a second son, who would start the cycle again. So, not every generation of men in this line would be sacrificed but every three generations one person would be killed.

Does this make sense? I'm not completely sure I've understood the premise.

That's what I was thinking. It makes perfect sense to me and seems like a perfectly good sacrifice target. Yarnspinner, are we missing something?

Sounds like the story said that every generation would have someone sacrificed. First born son gets sacrificed, and his first born, and his first born and so on. Which would be possible if the age of sacrifice was say 25. Not so much at 10.