Author Topic: Reading/Book Pet Peeves  (Read 200888 times)

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cabbageweevil

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Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
« Reply #60 on: January 28, 2013, 07:10:14 AM »
Worse - made up dialetic writing. Yes, Cloud Atlas and Phillip Roth novel whose title I have forgotten - I am looking straight at you. If I have to read the dialog out loud to be able to make some sense of it, I am not reading it.

I had always heard about Artemis Ward.  He was an American humorist of the 19th century who was said to be very funny.

I tracked down a book of his work that was published during his lifetime  and was not impressed.  He wrote in such heavy dialect that I doubt readers of his time could have decoded the stuff.  It must have been horrible to write.  It was certainly a torture to read. 
 

I'm with those who find dialectal writing / spelling a pain, and annoying to have to plough through. Also of that opinion, is Lynne Truss of "Eats, Shoots & Leaves". In the chapter on apostrophes in that book, she quotes a fragment of "Lady Chatterley's Lover" where Mellors the sexy gamekeeper and Lady C. are discussing an estate-management issue. The author sets out Mellors's words, in a solemn attempt to reproduce Nottinghamshire dialect, heavily peppered with apostrophes to indicate rustic-speech omitted letters. Truss's imagined rejoinder: " 'Why don't you speak ordinary English?' Lady Chatterley enquires, saucily."

Gyburc

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Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
« Reply #61 on: January 28, 2013, 08:26:45 AM »
Grammatical errors drive me nuts, and once I've spotted them, I can't un-see them.

I also find it deeply annoying when fantasy authors 'create' or 'imagine' a society that is essentially a copy of a real society (usually a medieval one), basically ripping it off and adding just a few details to make it look as if it is original.

I started a series of books a few months ago and the first volume seemed really promising, but in the second book the author had his hero travel to a mysterious country to learn sword-fighting from !!The Best Martial Artists In The World Ever!! (TM). The country turned out to be medieval Japan with the genders reversed, so that the women were the amazing martial artists. The men sort of disappeared from the picture, but I imagine they were busy with housework.  ::)

Then the hero got beaten in a sword-fight by an 8-year-old girl, which made me go  ??? ...

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lady_disdain

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Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
« Reply #62 on: January 28, 2013, 08:39:58 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.

I don't mind this much, as it is generally either understandable from the context, irrelevant or eventually explained in plot (I am a patient soul). What drives me crazy are fantasy authors that can't call a sheep a sheep - they have to make up a word for sheep "to add to the ambiance". and to be able to have a glossary at the back. Sorry, if it is four legged, grazes, has wool, is edible, is around the size of a sheep and is easily herded, it is a sheep not a shoiurgqjgn. Trudi Cannavan is a serial offender.

Verloona Ti

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Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
« Reply #63 on: January 28, 2013, 09:00:48 AM »



So agree about King.  Carrie was one of the first true horror novels I read and it was so unusual in its style (the magazine and newspaper articles interspersed with the prose) that it kept you reading just to see what magazine he would include next.  Ditto Salems Lot and The Shining.

And then, somewhere down the line, I want to say the book was IT, things went from being horrific love letters to Maine and New England and turned into ruminations on people's bowel movements, gore and gore and gore, and all kinds of references to bodily fluids.  Instead of the compelling, irresistable feeling of "what happens next" I remember being treated to one character's thinking about his constipation for several pages in IT but delivered, not in that character's tone of voice (which would have been more circumspect, I think) but in King's very snotty tone, as if he was mocking the character who would ultimately prove the real hero of the story.

I haven't been able to read his new books since then.



I have noticed that SK's characters have gotten older and richer as HE'S gotten older and richer...And it was at IT that I noticed he seemed to no longer have any empathy for poor/middle class/struggling people as he'd had in his earlier books, and now mostly held them up to ridicule. I call this "Stephen King Syndrome" : When a formerly poor , struggling person attains success, and then devotes himself to showing how much more "enlightened" he is than the Poor Slobs in whose class he used to be.

I hate the way books nowadays don't seem to be edited: Multiple typos, grammatical errors, mistakes of fact that should be easily rectifiable...I have now run across multiple books written by UK authors and (presumably) edited by UK editors employed by UK publishing houses, that describe the execution of King Charles I as a hanging. They may as well have strapped him into an electric chair!

Also agree with the person complaining about "phonetic" pronunciations in books. A LITTLE of this for flavor is OK : But when every single word is spelled like  "ehveree seengul werd"  and with commas   run amock to show dropped consonants,  despite my best efforts all I can do is scan not read. 
« Last Edit: January 28, 2013, 09:06:44 AM by Verloona Ti »

onyonryngs

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Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
« Reply #64 on: January 28, 2013, 09:22:52 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 !

Ha!  That's awesome!  I giggled the entire way through this!  Sounds just like those books!

booklover03

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Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
« Reply #65 on: January 28, 2013, 09:43:20 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).

That's the series I was thinking about, I don't know if it's the one rose red is talking about, though. I pretty much quit reading after the disaster that was Phury's book.


Tini

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Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
« Reply #66 on: January 28, 2013, 09:48:49 AM »
I also really dislike people who think owning a dictionary is enough to stick bits of a foreign language in your story. The amount of ridiculously bad German/Spanish/French I've come across! And quite often this would be combined with the book claiming native speaker level for its character.
I'm also with everyone on the bad research. Again, because of my German background and English reading habits, the wrongness I've come across has put me off quite a few books. I can live with Germans being a bit of a humorless caricature, but claiming that there are sausage stands in HAMBURG that would sell weisswurst that wasn't nearly as good as the characters mother would make it? Please.

Giggity

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Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
« Reply #67 on: January 28, 2013, 10:06:42 AM »
I hate, hate, hate books written in first person, present tense.  (I guess that's what you call it)
I walk into the kitchen.  She glares at me.  I pick up the magazine from the table and start eating the pages.  I think it's "Fine Dining at The Ritz."  I am gagging. She is laughing.  It's a cookbook from 1930 featuring canned peas."

Oh yes ma'am. This right here.
Words mean things.

blahblahblah

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Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
« Reply #68 on: January 28, 2013, 10:11:49 AM »
I hate, hate, hate books written in first person, present tense.  (I guess that's what you call it)
I walk into the kitchen.  She glares at me.  I pick up the magazine from the table and start eating the pages.  I think it's "Fine Dining at The Ritz."  I am gagging. She is laughing.  It's a cookbook from 1930 featuring canned peas."

Oh yes ma'am. This right here.
Same. Usually it comes across as a crutch and a very lazy way of writing.

That's not to say that it can't be pulled off - hence the "usually" as a qualifier - but I very rarely see it done successfully.

Giggity

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Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
« Reply #69 on: January 28, 2013, 10:13:40 AM »
I'm with others on over description. When the plot comes to a screeching halt for several pages to not only describe the buildings, but to describe the process in which the bricks were made and the politics within the bricklayer's union, to the point where I've forgotten what happened before the author started describing all that, is when I start skipping pages.

Anne Rice ... I'm looking in your direction ... seriously, what on earth made her think we need three pages describing the living room curtains?
Words mean things.

Venus193

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Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
« Reply #70 on: January 28, 2013, 10:26:56 AM »
Cabbageweevil, I am on the side of historical accuracy, or at least time-neutral language in books and other entertainment in period costume.  I can't stand overly contemporary language coming from characters who are wearing hoopskirts, trunk hose, or togas.  I think it encourages ignorance of history, which is a huge pet peeve of mine.

This is the reason I shut off Moulin Rouge! after ten minutes and refused to watch Marie Antoinette.  There are other examples coming with the wrong music for the period and I don't want to know what they're doing with the dialogue.

blahblahblah

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Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
« Reply #71 on: January 28, 2013, 10:35:23 AM »
I hate the prevalence of bad boys in YA lit. But that's because nowadays "bad boy" has become synonymous with abusive a-hole. It's one thing to be a bit of a rogue from the wrong side of the tracks with a devil-may-care attitude, it's another thing to, I don't know, stalk the main character with the intention of murdering them (before the power of lurve changes them) or force them to spend the night in their room and then throw a major ragey fit when the girl decides to sneak out.

And no, I'm not talking about Twilight! I know that Twilight has been a sore subject on the forums in the past, but the stuff I'm thinking about bugs me a lot more.

Winterlight

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Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
« Reply #72 on: January 28, 2013, 11:01:00 AM »
When a really good paranormal fantasy (I'm looking at you, Anita Blake) series turns into porn halfway through and throws out all plot in the name of sex.

Yep. Unless you're writing porn, give us a plot! Her Merry Gentry series is a particular offender as well. The first book had actual worldbuilding- now it's all porn, all the time. And bad porn at that.

Overexplaining. If you think your readers won't know who Lara Croft is, give one brief mention. Don't spend three sentences repeating yourself. Lindsay McKenna, I'm looking at you.

Mary Sues- I liked the Honor Harrington books, but the last few have been pretty bad. I bailed when she reinvented sign language. spoiler hidden

Surprise romantic relationship. One series I read recently popped up with this. There was no hint of it till this book, no reason to think they were interested in each other and it felt really contrived. Blech.
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Adelaide

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Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
« Reply #73 on: January 28, 2013, 11:09:55 AM »
I hate when a book is written in first-person and the author decides to have the character go insane, or contract PTSD or something. For me, the last two Hunger Games books were like pulling teeth. I don't want to read about someone who spends half of her time getting sedated, waking up to fight, and being sedated, again and again and again. If Collins wanted to make Katniss' unraveling more tragic or make me care about it a bit more, she wouldn't have stuck us inside Katniss' head the entire time. That's one reason I'm looking forward to the next movies-you're not stuck with Katniss through the whole darn thing.

Morticia

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Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
« Reply #74 on: January 28, 2013, 11:25:07 AM »
When the protaganist must be in peril, even if it's not called for?  Since when do cozy mysteries require the sleuth to be the prime suspect? Why does almost every mystery story to come down the pipe must involve someone being framed? (For some reason it's a trigger for me, so I hate the preponderance of this these days. I am not kidding, almost every mystery story I've bought recently has this as a plot point. And frequently not mentioned in the synopsis.)
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