Author Topic: Reading/Book Pet Peeves  (Read 241459 times)

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Lynn2000

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Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
« Reply #270 on: February 07, 2013, 02:33:08 PM »
I recently read something in a style that really bugged me. Basically, the author was so vague I couldn't understand what was going on. Like, there's a mention of blood and screaming, and then the characters are at the hospital, and one person is apologizing to the hurt one and the hurt one is saying it was just an accident. Maybe five or six sentences in the whole scene. It wasn't until several pages later, when the author was in an expository mood I guess, that I was able to figure out exactly what had happened, and it wasn't really what I had assumed from the little info that was given, and it changed (in a small way) the characters' arcs for me.

And, I didn't get the feeling that this was the author's intent, to hide the truth for a while and then upend my assumptions. It was more like the author thought they were being artsy and minimalist and spare (instead of over-describing everything), but the result was that I had no idea what was occurring in the story or why.
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Twik

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Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
« Reply #271 on: February 07, 2013, 03:24:21 PM »
And, I didn't get the feeling that this was the author's intent, to hide the truth for a while and then upend my assumptions. It was more like the author thought they were being artsy and minimalist and spare (instead of over-describing everything), but the result was that I had no idea what was occurring in the story or why.

I recall an author once saying that if you ever write something that you think is the most original stylistic masterstroke ever, you should hit the delete button with all haste, because it's likely a really bad idea.
My cousin's memoir of love and loneliness while raising a child with multiple disabilities will be out on Amazon soon! Know the Night, by Maria Mutch, has been called "full of hope, light, and companionship for surviving the small hours of the night."

kglory

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Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
« Reply #272 on: February 08, 2013, 05:50:38 AM »
Names and topics that are historically inaccurate, to the point of being outlandish.

I love reading historical fiction, in the vein of Philippa Gregory and Alison Weir, so I was glad to pick up a book by an unknown writer set in 1500's England.

At the start of the book, Edward VI is king.  The protagonist, a nobleman, goes to visit Henry VIII's other daughters, Mary and Elizabeth, who are living at the same house as each other (stike one!).

He then bows to each of them and repeatedly addresses each of them as Princess (strike two!  Elizabeth wasn't titled Princess since she was 3 years old).

I told myself I was being too picky and to get over it.

But third strike?  Said protagonists were named Eric and Heather.

After a chapter or two of this nonsense, I decided to keep reading only for the humor value -- and there was plenty more of that!
« Last Edit: February 08, 2013, 05:52:20 AM by kglory »

MariaE

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Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
« Reply #273 on: February 08, 2013, 06:10:57 AM »
But third strike?  Said protagonists were named Eric and Heather.

I know nothing about the name "Heather", but what's wrong with "Eric"? Denmark had a king Erik back in the 13th century.
 
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Piratelvr1121

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Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
« Reply #274 on: February 08, 2013, 07:06:03 AM »
I read two books of a Philippa Gregory series a few years ago and couldn't bring myself to read a third.  It was the Wideacre series and it read like V.C. Andrews doing historical fiction.
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Thipu1

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Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
« Reply #275 on: February 08, 2013, 09:48:55 AM »
I despise it when books make their supposedly "normal" characters into some kind of superhuman. I don't anyone who can, each and every night, go to bed at 1:00AM, get up at 4:00AM, drink a cup of coffee and be perfectly okay to face the day and fight crime.

Actually, I know someone who could probably do that.  Her amount of energy is mind-boggling.  When I read an article on "short sleepers" I discovered that she's a textbook example.

Something like that turned me off the Da Vinci Code.  They never seemed to sleep or eat.

Redneck Gravy

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Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
« Reply #276 on: February 08, 2013, 09:54:22 AM »
I despise it when books make their supposedly "normal" characters into some kind of superhuman. I don't anyone who can, each and every night, go to bed at 1:00AM, get up at 4:00AM, drink a cup of coffee and be perfectly okay to face the day and fight crime.

Actually, I know someone who could probably do that.  Her amount of energy is mind-boggling.  When I read an article on "short sleepers" I discovered that she's a textbook example.

I know a man like this - he sleeps from 2 am to 6 am and goes to work everyday. 

Twik

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Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
« Reply #277 on: February 08, 2013, 09:57:17 AM »
But third strike?  Said protagonists were named Eric and Heather.

I know nothing about the name "Heather", but what's wrong with "Eric"? Denmark had a king Erik back in the 13th century.

It was an extant name, but I must admit I don't recall ever reading of an English noble with that name in the period.
My cousin's memoir of love and loneliness while raising a child with multiple disabilities will be out on Amazon soon! Know the Night, by Maria Mutch, has been called "full of hope, light, and companionship for surviving the small hours of the night."

nuit93

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Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
« Reply #278 on: February 08, 2013, 12:02:13 PM »
I read two books of a Philippa Gregory series a few years ago and couldn't bring myself to read a third.  It was the Wideacre series and it read like V.C. Andrews doing historical fiction.

I've noticed her books are kind of hit or miss.  I liked "The Other Boleyn Girl" (hated the movie) and "The Queen's Fool" but there was another one I almost gave up on...I think it was "The Wise Woman".

lady_disdain

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Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
« Reply #279 on: February 08, 2013, 12:15:08 PM »
Stories that rely on the "Joe died but no one saw the body so he will come back 100 pages from the end, saving the day and telling a story of how he really didn't die" trope. It has been overused and now I roll my eyes at "deaths".

kglory

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Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
« Reply #280 on: February 08, 2013, 12:45:02 PM »
But third strike?  Said protagonists were named Eric and Heather.

I know nothing about the name "Heather", but what's wrong with "Eric"? Denmark had a king Erik back in the 13th century.

I could see Eric on a Scandinavian, but don't think it was common in England at that time period.

Piratelvr1121 - totally agree with you about Wideacre!  I read it after reading some of the royal books, and wow...."VC Andrews" is exactly right.

MariaE

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Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
« Reply #281 on: February 08, 2013, 12:51:23 PM »
But third strike?  Said protagonists were named Eric and Heather.

I know nothing about the name "Heather", but what's wrong with "Eric"? Denmark had a king Erik back in the 13th century.

I could see Eric on a Scandinavian, but don't think it was common in England at that time period.

Piratelvr1121 - totally agree with you about Wideacre!  I read it after reading some of the royal books, and wow...."VC Andrews" is exactly right.

Fair enough. I assumed that it was - with the vikings and all - but will gladly admit to knowing nothing about it :)
 
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athersgeo

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Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
« Reply #282 on: February 08, 2013, 01:07:48 PM »
But third strike?  Said protagonists were named Eric and Heather.

I know nothing about the name "Heather", but what's wrong with "Eric"? Denmark had a king Erik back in the 13th century.

I could see Eric on a Scandinavian, but don't think it was common in England at that time period.

Piratelvr1121 - totally agree with you about Wideacre!  I read it after reading some of the royal books, and wow...."VC Andrews" is exactly right.

Fair enough. I assumed that it was - with the vikings and all - but will gladly admit to knowing nothing about it :)

I think the key point would be the spelling. Erik (ending with a k) might well have been a viable name because of the Norse influence in England (although it would have waned a bit by the 1200s, I would have thought). Eric (with a c) is a rather more modern spelling.

kglory

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Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
« Reply #283 on: February 08, 2013, 01:28:20 PM »
But third strike?  Said protagonists were named Eric and Heather.

I know nothing about the name "Heather", but what's wrong with "Eric"? Denmark had a king Erik back in the 13th century.

I could see Eric on a Scandinavian, but don't think it was common in England at that time period.

Piratelvr1121 - totally agree with you about Wideacre!  I read it after reading some of the royal books, and wow...."VC Andrews" is exactly right.

Fair enough. I assumed that it was - with the vikings and all - but will gladly admit to knowing nothing about it :)

If the rest of the book were historically accurate, I might have believed that this family had Scandinavian ancestors or something.  But it was just so bad.

After writing this post last night, I was remembering even more about this book.  A major plot point is that another nobleman comes to Eric with the story that his daughter was kidnapped at the age of 4 by Spanish pirates.  She'd now be in her teens.  Can Eric please go to Spain to rescue her?  So Eric does, and he magically finds this girl, realizing that she must be the missing English girl, because she is blonde, and no blonde people live in Spain!  So he kidnaps her and brings her back to England.  Her name - given name by English parents in the 1500's - is Eden.

There also seemed a huge religious agenda -- with whole chapters being devoted to characters converting to the Orange religion and how righteous it was, while all Purple characters were portrayed as bad in every one-dimensional way.  Then at the end, with the author bio, you learn the author is a professor at an Orange religion university!  I remember thinking, if his goal was to convert people, it backfired, because all he did was show his own ignorance and lack of research.

I would normally stop reading such a bad book, but this was so bad, it was hilarious.  I've been trying to Google and can't even find the title (it was a print book someone had left at a free library) so it really must have been bad.

Ereine

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Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
« Reply #284 on: February 08, 2013, 01:46:53 PM »
But third strike?  Said protagonists were named Eric and Heather.

I know nothing about the name "Heather", but what's wrong with "Eric"? Denmark had a king Erik back in the 13th century.

I could see Eric on a Scandinavian, but don't think it was common in England at that time period.

Piratelvr1121 - totally agree with you about Wideacre!  I read it after reading some of the royal books, and wow...."VC Andrews" is exactly right.

Fair enough. I assumed that it was - with the vikings and all - but will gladly admit to knowing nothing about it :)

Behindthename.com says that it used to be common during the Viking era but became very rare during Middle Ages and only became popular again in the 19th century with the publication of a novel.

I think that I once read a romance novel set in the 19th century with heroine called Jade. I don't know how commonly the word was actually used but in historical novels it seems to be a common term for disreputable woman which might prevent an aristocratic family from using it as their daughter's name.