Author Topic: Reading/Book Pet Peeves  (Read 223990 times)

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snowflake

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Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
« Reply #990 on: July 08, 2013, 05:20:39 PM »
I had to post a review on Amazon.  I ordered a book which contained 3 books of Mary Roberts Rinehart, an old favorite of mine.  One of the included books was The Case of Jennie Brice, one of her best.

I don't know how it happened, but there were so many odd errors in it.  I almost had the impression that they had gotten ahold of the original galley proofs and published it as is.  There were a lot of odd punctuation glitches: where_the_words were separated by an underscore.  There should also a small illustration that shows the shape of a scar on a corpse.  The shape of the scar is an important plot point.  In the text, you see: [insert illustration here] instead of the actual illustration.

The worst error is on the last page, where the beginning of one paragraph switches abruptly mid-sentence to the end of the next paragraph, eliminating what should be the denoument of the book.  And this happens twice on the last page!  There is no publishing information on the book at all, or I would also have written a letter to the publisher.

In my review, I recommend the books themselves, but warn people away from this edition.

I am actually related to someone who re-sells out-of-copyright ebooks on Amazon.  She has figured out some tricks of the trade to make her versions appear more recent in searches.  (Don't ask me how this works.)  One of our ongoing feuds is that I absolutely refuse to buy "her" books because I want something that has been professionally typeset.  I get better quality downloading text files from gutenberg.org.

I am accused of being "stuck up."

The thing is, she works lots and lots of hours because all the futzing she does to make her ranks climb is apparently time-consuming.  So she does not actually read through the ebooks that she creates.  Any critigue of her product makes her angry and can get her off on a tirade disparaging the character of anyone who points this out to her.  So I don't actually see this changing any time soon.

cwm

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Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
« Reply #991 on: July 08, 2013, 05:33:20 PM »
I've been reading a series of books set in a tiny European country.  The country is in something of an upheaval because of distant and foreign relatives of the royal family tried to take over the country.  The problem is, these criminals seem to know the country better than the people who have lived there all their lives.  They are able to get in and out of the royal palace before the royal guard even knows they are there, even with upto date security equipment.  In the most recent story, the bad guys, force the male and female leads to get them into the very well protected crown jewels vaults and get away.  They then hide in caves that they wouldn't know very much about, yet they are able to take captive two members of the royal army who know the caves very well.  They get caught only because the good guys keep on coming and who finally get a luck break. 

Oh, that's so irritating! I really dislike stories that hinge on that kind of thing. It's the Secret Service or the highly-trained royal ninja guards or something, and a bunch of bad guys completely cut them down, anticipate every move, know all about the secret tunnels and door codes and passwords, etc.. I think the only way that's acceptable is if the bad guys have someone highly placed on the inside helping them, who gave them all that information. Or, you know, someone who's a mind-reader or whatever. At least throw the audience a bone of plausibility.

Or maybe these people are former Royal Ninja Guards, or are the descendants of the people who built the secret tunnels and have the family knowledge. Or heck, I've even heard of a few where they started out as bottom-of-the-rung servants in the royal household and they spent all their spare time poking around for hidden passages and such.

There are SO MANY ways to make things like this plausible. Authors, please pick one.

EMuir

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Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
« Reply #992 on: July 08, 2013, 05:45:33 PM »
I hate it when one of the male characters feels scared and the author emphasizes this by describing his male parts shrinking.  For one thing I'm now thinking about male parts shrinking, not what was supposedly scary.  For another thing I find myself wondering what the female counterparts had happen... did their ovaries tremble in fear? 

Elfmama

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Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
« Reply #993 on: July 08, 2013, 11:15:12 PM »
I had to post a review on Amazon.  I ordered a book which contained 3 books of Mary Roberts Rinehart, an old favorite of mine.  One of the included books was The Case of Jennie Brice, one of her best.

I don't know how it happened, but there were so many odd errors in it.  I almost had the impression that they had gotten ahold of the original galley proofs and published it as is.  There were a lot of odd punctuation glitches: where_the_words were separated by an underscore.  There should also a small illustration that shows the shape of a scar on a corpse.  The shape of the scar is an important plot point.  In the text, you see: [insert illustration here] instead of the actual illustration.

The worst error is on the last page, where the beginning of one paragraph switches abruptly mid-sentence to the end of the next paragraph, eliminating what should be the denoument of the book.  And this happens twice on the last page!  There is no publishing information on the book at all, or I would also have written a letter to the publisher.

In my review, I recommend the books themselves, but warn people away from this edition.
Older books that have become public domain are frequently OCR'ed and not proofread at all, just slapped up on the website.  Even those that are still under copyright may have this happen to them.   I just finished one where there was a lot of wrong words -- hack when context suggested back, for instance. 
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Library Dragon

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Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
« Reply #994 on: July 08, 2013, 11:54:43 PM »
Lynn2000 wrote:

Quote
Something similar happened to me once, only it was a paper book I checked out of the library. It had a note printed in it saying it was an "advance reading copy" of the book from "uncorrected proofs." There were several typos, but nothing major like giant chunks of text missing (at least not that I noticed).

Though, if I recall correctly, I found the book itself unsatisfying, kind of half-baked, when I'd enjoyed other books by the same author--it was The Two Princesses of Bamarre by Gail Carson Levine, author of Ella Enchanted. It's a fairytale-type magical quest story, with a timid heroine who has to become stronger and overcome obstacles. There were a lot of objects and plotlines that appeared, seemed interesting, and then were abandoned, never to be seen again; and missed opportunities to use the heroine's natural strengths. Part of me kind of hopes it was a super-rough draft that somehow found its way to my library, and that the real book is actually much better.

Oh, this is a no-no. ARCs are not allowed to be catalogued or sold.  They sometimes slip through if the marking's not obvious.  We use ours as prizes.  For one of our book clubs we had everyone read a different ARC and review it for the group.  We sent the comments to the publishers.

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The TARDIS

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Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
« Reply #995 on: July 09, 2013, 01:42:07 AM »
I hate it when one of the male characters feels scared and the author emphasizes this by describing his male parts shrinking.  For one thing I'm now thinking about male parts shrinking, not what was supposedly scary.  For another thing I find myself wondering what the female counterparts had happen... did their ovaries tremble in fear? 

WELL! I just had tea come out of my nose! Oh my goodness gracious! I needed that laugh!

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Verloona Ti

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Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
« Reply #996 on: July 09, 2013, 08:15:42 AM »
I hate it when one of the male characters feels scared and the author emphasizes this by describing his male parts shrinking.  For one thing I'm now thinking about male parts shrinking, not what was supposedly scary.  For another thing I find myself wondering what the female counterparts had happen... did their ovaries tremble in fear?

Ugh. That brought back a memory I had successfully suppressed : In Mario Puzo's The Godfather, when one of his female characters hears another woman talking about how "over endowed" her husband is , feels lust for that woman's husband, and Puzo chooses to reveal that lust by having her feel  "the flesh between her legs twitch". Just NO.

Morticia

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Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
« Reply #997 on: July 09, 2013, 09:20:44 AM »
^ I think that belongs on the Gross Out thread.
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Lynn2000

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Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
« Reply #998 on: July 09, 2013, 10:14:48 AM »
Oh, that's so irritating! I really dislike stories that hinge on that kind of thing. It's the Secret Service or the highly-trained royal ninja guards or something, and a bunch of bad guys completely cut them down, anticipate every move, know all about the secret tunnels and door codes and passwords, etc.. I think the only way that's acceptable is if the bad guys have someone highly placed on the inside helping them, who gave them all that information. Or, you know, someone who's a mind-reader or whatever. At least throw the audience a bone of plausibility.

Or maybe these people are former Royal Ninja Guards, or are the descendants of the people who built the secret tunnels and have the family knowledge. Or heck, I've even heard of a few where they started out as bottom-of-the-rung servants in the royal household and they spent all their spare time poking around for hidden passages and such.

There are SO MANY ways to make things like this plausible. Authors, please pick one.

Oh right. Yeah, actually there are several ways it could have a tinge of plausibility, which just makes it WORSE when authors don't use one!

I'm also getting tired of the explanation that "our brilliant computer hacker broke into your computer and stole all the information we needed, the end." Maybe in 1996 that was an awesome and scary explanation, but now it's just kind of dull.

Lynn2000 wrote:

Quote
Something similar happened to me once, only it was a paper book I checked out of the library. It had a note printed in it saying it was an "advance reading copy" of the book from "uncorrected proofs." There were several typos, but nothing major like giant chunks of text missing (at least not that I noticed).

Oh, this is a no-no. ARCs are not allowed to be catalogued or sold.  They sometimes slip through if the marking's not obvious.  We use ours as prizes.  For one of our book clubs we had everyone read a different ARC and review it for the group.  We sent the comments to the publishers.

Yipe! I guess the library really goofed, then. I noticed the marking just while preparing to read it, but I don't remember now how obvious it was--big or little font, etc.. Sometimes I find interesting things by reading the small font notes at the beginning and end of a book, so I guess it might have been subtle. I like when they give a shout-out to the typeface the book was set in. I'm guessing that's a holdover from the past or something?
~Lynn2000

Winterlight

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Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
« Reply #999 on: July 09, 2013, 11:27:28 AM »
I found a book a while back where the publishers "corrected something" and shouldn't have.

It was in the Puffin Classics version of Little Women . There is a line in Ch. 37 that should read, "The set in which they found themselves was composed of English, and Amy was compelled to walk decorously through a cotillion, feeling all the while as if she could dance the tarantella with relish."

In this edition, she wanted to dance the Tarantula.

Now, while I'm relieved that she didn't want to dance the Black Widow or the Brown Recluse, I still laughed like a loon.
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snowflake

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Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
« Reply #1000 on: July 09, 2013, 11:32:52 AM »
I suppose this is one reason why I can't read many romances. 

So many of them end without a good reason for falling in love.  Well, besides being horny.  In fact, most of them are, "Well, I really hate you BUT, I want to pork you so I will stay with you anyway."  It always makes me close the book thinking, "Six weeks after her wedding, Ambriella woke up besides Chesty, her husband, and said, "Oh dingdangity.  It's worn off."

Winterlight

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Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
« Reply #1001 on: July 09, 2013, 11:42:53 AM »
Yeah, I end up asking, "What do you have in common besides Scrabble? Do you even like this person, because it doesn't seem like it."
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And how, and when, and where.
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cwm

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Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
« Reply #1002 on: July 09, 2013, 11:54:45 AM »
I suppose this is one reason why I can't read many romances. 

So many of them end without a good reason for falling in love.  Well, besides being horny.  In fact, most of them are, "Well, I really hate you BUT, I want to pork you so I will stay with you anyway."  It always makes me close the book thinking, "Six weeks after her wedding, Ambriella woke up besides Chesty, her husband, and said, "Oh dingdangity.  It's worn off."


I will admit, there's one romance eBook I have on my laptop that I will forever love simply BECAUSE of how bad it is. Our heroine gets taken back in time to the...um...not sure when, which is sad, because I'm great with time periods. The dashing knight (head of the castle, no less) is a time traveler, and he brings back women to keep in his harem. She hates him for imprisoning her, has never done anything outside of boring scrabble, and sets herself up to be the best in, erm, some more graphic pursuits. Including the woodwork to make some of the set pieces herself. Which makes no sense with her character's history, if a person with her background really tried to build things like that, they'd fall apart at best. And don't get me started on how hard it is to saw giant beams of wood to size or secure them together. Not easy.

Lynn2000

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Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
« Reply #1003 on: July 09, 2013, 12:07:45 PM »
I will admit, there's one romance eBook I have on my laptop that I will forever love simply BECAUSE of how bad it is. Our heroine gets taken back in time to the...um...not sure when, which is sad, because I'm great with time periods. The dashing knight (head of the castle, no less) is a time traveler, and he brings back women to keep in his harem. She hates him for imprisoning her, has never done anything outside of boring scrabble, and sets herself up to be the best in, erm, some more graphic pursuits. Including the woodwork to make some of the set pieces herself. Which makes no sense with her character's history, if a person with her background really tried to build things like that, they'd fall apart at best. And don't get me started on how hard it is to saw giant beams of wood to size or secure them together. Not easy.

You know it's bad when a romance novel spends more time on woodworking than scrabble...
~Lynn2000

Slartibartfast

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Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
« Reply #1004 on: July 09, 2013, 12:51:24 PM »
I suppose this is one reason why I can't read many romances. 

So many of them end without a good reason for falling in love.  Well, besides being horny.  In fact, most of them are, "Well, I really hate you BUT, I want to pork you so I will stay with you anyway."  It always makes me close the book thinking, "Six weeks after her wedding, Ambriella woke up besides Chesty, her husband, and said, "Oh dingdangity.  It's worn off."

As a romance author myself, who has many romance author friends, I take umbrage at this.  Yes, SOME romances are thin on the character motivation (particularly self-published and small press e-books, which tend to have less of an editorial process and thus less of a gatekeeper to publication), but that's not "most" by any stretch of the imagination.  A fair portion of romances have no sex in them at all.  And those of us who really care about the craft of writing work very hard to ensure that there's more to the conflict than a misunderstanding and more to the romance than "I want to pork you."  Ideally, the sex scenes should come about because it's the only possible result of the characters' current situation and attraction for each other - plotwise, they should be inevitable.  (Exceptions to be made for erotica, but even there, the sex has to make sense for the characters - some reason they'd be particularly prone to jumping in bed with near-strangers at the beginning of the book and some reason they're NOT jumping in bed with anyone other than each other by the end.)