Author Topic: Reading/Book Pet Peeves  (Read 223059 times)

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mechtilde

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Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
« Reply #45 on: January 28, 2013, 01:08:40 AM »
Historical novels where the characters (or at least some of them- usually the feisty young Mary Sue) behave like 21st century people.

Yes, it can be possible to write a book where a 17th century magistrate is tolerant of Catholicism and sceptical about the existence witchcraft, but you have to get his character and motivation right.
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dirtyweasel

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Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
« Reply #46 on: January 28, 2013, 02:56:05 AM »
I just finished a book where a good portion of the book was written in French.  People talking in French to eachother, quotes from texts written in French and even French words thrown in haphazardly to let the reader know that the author can speak French.

The problem?  I don't speak a word of French and there were only a few English subtitles so I didn't understand a good portion of the book.  Sad part is that this isn't the first time that I've seen this done.

Authors:  if you're going to write a book (in whatever language) and you choose to add a second language for whatever reason then add subtitles for EACH phrase.  Do NOT assume that your reader understands what what you are writing.




Was it an old or a recent book?  Last summer I read Vanity Fair and I found it peppered with French.  That didn't bother me, but I can imagine that a highschool or college student who has to read it would find that annoying.  Of course, at the time it was written, it was assumed that the readership would comprise highly educated people who all had some knowledge of French.


The book is Labyrinth by Kate Mosse and it was written in 2005. 



iridaceae

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Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
« Reply #47 on: January 28, 2013, 04:42:10 AM »
Books where the main character is told "don't do X/go to Y because it's dangerous" and they do anyhow. Usually because "you can't tell me what to do."  I don't mind if doing whatever is done logically like they promise but then hear someone calling for help, but usually they come off looking like spoiled brats.

The didn't do their homework one bothers me as well.

And especially names. No I don't buy a 12th century Scottish Lady named Storm and I don't buy a 25 year old female today named Nevaeh (it's Heaven speller backwards) .  Fanfiction loves Mary Sues named Rayleigh Angel Sky and Kileah Emerald Shakira.

RingTailedLemur

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Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
« Reply #48 on: January 28, 2013, 04:53:12 AM »
I just finished a book where a good portion of the book was written in French.  People talking in French to eachother, quotes from texts written in French and even French words thrown in haphazardly to let the reader know that the author can speak French.

The problem?  I don't speak a word of French and there were only a few English subtitles so I didn't understand a good portion of the book.  Sad part is that this isn't the first time that I've seen this done.

Authors:  if you're going to write a book (in whatever language) and you choose to add a second language for whatever reason then add subtitles for EACH phrase.  Do NOT assume that your reader understands what what you are writing.




Was it an old or a recent book?  Last summer I read Vanity Fair and I found it peppered with French.  That didn't bother me, but I can imagine that a highschool or college student who has to read it would find that annoying.  Of course, at the time it was written, it was assumed that the readership would comprise highly educated people who all had some knowledge of French.


The book is Labyrinth by Kate Mosse and it was written in 2005.

I'm surprised - I just looked at my copy.  There is only the odd word in French in it, not ongoing sentences and there is a glossary at the back of the book.

Ereine

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Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
« Reply #49 on: January 28, 2013, 05:07:31 AM »
Names bother me too. I've read more than one American book that featured Russian men with female last names, it seems like such a basic thing that it doesn't say much about their research skills (there was also one book that had correct names, if I recall correctly but parts of it read like a guide book to Moscow). One author has used Finnish last names (one was incorrectly spelled but I guess ä might make readers confused) for generic Slavic / Eastern European characters at least in two books. We may be Eastern European but far from Slavic and Igor Särkilahti looks about the same as Sven Jones.

This isn't probably a completely rational pet peeve but I really dislike made-up countries (even though I don't mind made-up dialects at all, Iain M. Banks's Feersum Endjinn would have lost a lot of its charm without the language and in Cloud Atlas the language really showed the progress of time. For real dialects, Trainspotting would have been pretty boring in straight English), especially European ones. They make sense in historical novels, as there were so many tiny principalities and kingdoms in Europe then, even though I don't like it but I have trouble taking them seriously in contemporary books that are supposed to be sort of realistic. I can understand why writers use them (it's probably easier when you can control the history and geography and politics completely) but I don't like it. 

CakeEater

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Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
« Reply #50 on: January 28, 2013, 05:10:14 AM »
Definitely non-endings. I like every little loose end neatly tied up for me.
 
I know they're corny, but I actually like movies that end with a montage of the futures of the characters.

shadowfox79

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Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
« Reply #51 on: January 28, 2013, 06:14:01 AM »
Romance books by British/Australian authors that have the story set in America.  The author has properly done her geography research, however, the heroine worries about scraping her "tyres" on the "kerb" as she pulls into the "carpark " then takes the "lift" up to her "flat."

This may be an editing issue rather than an author issue. My first novel was set in the US, but I and my publisher are in the UK. I basically had to edit it so that all Americanisms were in the dialogue and not the text, because my editor insisted on it being written in British English regardless of the location. (You wouldn't believe the wrangle we had about a certain name for one's bottom.)

iridaceae

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Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
« Reply #52 on: January 28, 2013, 06:17:23 AM »
I remembered another one : fantasy books where they use made up words but never define them so you're wondering what the word means. Authors will do this with spells and powers,  too. Drives me crazy.

Geekychick1984

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Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
« Reply #53 on: January 28, 2013, 06:36:17 AM »
When a series change midway.  For example, romance with a bit of fantasy turn into pure urban fantasy 8 books in.

This is a big one for me, too. I had this happen to me in a series of books that I used to love. I even got several of my friends to read them and they loved them, too. They were paranormal romance and about 6-7 books in the author decided to change to urban fantasy. Everything that made me fall in love with the series was changed. A lot of her fans, including me, were very disappointed. I finally had to stop reading the series because rules that the author herself established for the world she created were being broken left and right. There were so many plot holes it was ridiculous. She would also put so many extra plot lines in the book that it was hard to keep everything straight. When a book is advertised to be about 2 certain people, I expect them to be the main focus of the story. Her later books were supposed to be about a certain couple, but they would only have about 1/4 of the book dedicated to them. Everything else was to keep other plot lines going or to introduce new ones. It was hard, but I finally decided not to read anymore of her books.

I have to ask....Blackdagger Brotherhood?  That's the first that came to mind for me (and if so, I totally agree).

Redsoil

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Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
« Reply #54 on: January 28, 2013, 06:37:44 AM »
Romance books by British/Australian authors that have the story set in America.  The author has properly done her geography research, however, the heroine worries about scraping her "tyres" on the "kerb" as she pulls into the "carpark " then takes the "lift" up to her "flat."

In the same vein - books where editors feel they have to be "translated" just because they're moving across the pond.

"The Baby-Sitter's Club" series was "translated" into British English (and the covers were HIDEOUS!)
"Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone" was "translated" into American English.
"Anne of Windy Willows" was 'translated' when published in the US, had a lot of scenes cut out of it, and was retitled "Anne of Windy Poplars".
"Outlander" was "translated" when published in the UK, had a lot of scenes cut out of it and was retitled "Cross-Stitch".

... I could keep going.

Wow - didn't know that about "Outlander".  I bought the book when it was first available in Australia, titled as "Cross-Stitch".  May just have to go and purchase the "Outlander" version on Kindle and re-read to see what differences there are.
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Redsoil

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Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
« Reply #55 on: January 28, 2013, 06:41:44 AM »
One series I did quite enjoy is by Traci Harding - starting with "The Ancient Future".  However, there are various inaccuracies that grate, not least the constant misuse of the terms "thee" and "thou".  If you're going to use "ancient language" get the grammar right!
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MariaE

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Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
« Reply #56 on: January 28, 2013, 06:49:04 AM »
Romance books by British/Australian authors that have the story set in America.  The author has properly done her geography research, however, the heroine worries about scraping her "tyres" on the "kerb" as she pulls into the "carpark " then takes the "lift" up to her "flat."

In the same vein - books where editors feel they have to be "translated" just because they're moving across the pond.

"The Baby-Sitter's Club" series was "translated" into British English (and the covers were HIDEOUS!)
"Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone" was "translated" into American English.
"Anne of Windy Willows" was 'translated' when published in the US, had a lot of scenes cut out of it, and was retitled "Anne of Windy Poplars".
"Outlander" was "translated" when published in the UK, had a lot of scenes cut out of it and was retitled "Cross-Stitch".

... I could keep going.

Wow - didn't know that about "Outlander".  I bought the book when it was first available in Australia, titled as "Cross-Stitch".  May just have to go and purchase the "Outlander" version on Kindle and re-read to see what differences there are.

It's worth it - IMHO - "Cross-Stitch" is a lot more tame than "Outlander". See here for examples.
 
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Redsoil

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Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
« Reply #57 on: January 28, 2013, 06:52:00 AM »
Just checked on Amazon - can't get the "Outlander" version for Australia on Kindle!
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Redsoil

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Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
« Reply #58 on: January 28, 2013, 06:57:22 AM »
Thanks, MariaE!  Have just followed the link - most interesting.  I wonder why the changes were made?  Seems to be no good reason.
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cabbageweevil

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Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
« Reply #59 on: January 28, 2013, 06:58:12 AM »
A pet peeve of mine is when there is, in historical fiction in general, a high degree of deliberately-archaic language in the dialogue / conversation. Just a personal "kink" of mine: I respect those who take the opposite view, and who like the author to have researched well as regards speech, and are irked by speech-anachronisms. I just happen to find the "archaic mode" jarring and distracting -- I'm happier with the characters speaking modern English, even though it's not what they would have sounded like at the time.

... I picked up a copy of a new book, a historical novel, I believe. When I got home I picked it up to try it. It opened in a late nineteenth-century ballroom where a man was flirting with a woman and she responded with a trendy phrase that didn't exist until about the time of the writing. ::) After my eyes returned to their normal position I tossed the book in the recycle bin.
Now that very probably wouldn't have bothered me -- I'd have been happier with it than with "Oh, hoity-toity, sir !" or the like.

I've never enjoyed Georgette Heyer much, because of the characters' routinely conversing in Regency slang and idiom: the author has no doubt done meticulous research to get all this right for the period, and kudos to her for it -- unfortunately, it grates on me. And, when first hearing about "Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell", I thought the book would be right up my street. In fact, I couldn't get very far through it, because of its being all in "Jane-Austen-speak" (and orthography): not only the dialogue; but all the text -- with its being supposedly a document from 200-odd years ago. Indisputably, very clever on the author's part -- but it drove me nuts.

As said, just my individual "thing"; and an instance of how it's impossible for the poor author to please everybody !