Author Topic: Reading/Book Pet Peeves  (Read 240527 times)

2 Members and 2 Guests are viewing this topic.

cwm

  • Hero Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 2427
Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
« Reply #1410 on: September 17, 2013, 04:29:22 PM »
The "pining over the same person for years" is a plot that is just done way too often, to my mind. Same with the "they argue all the time, which means they will end up getting together." These are staples in books (and tv/movies as well) but rarely reflect reality.

Outside of high school I don't know anyone who pined after the same person for years to the detriment of other relationships (sure, finding someone attractive and having a feeling of 'too bad that never happened') but most of the time, if someone's in love with someone for years, they either say something or there's a really clear reason why it won't happen.

I think that it would be really difficult to start a relationship where one person has been in love for years, and the other person is just discovering that and treating it as a first date situation. Very unequal.

And to follow that up, I've never really understood the plot device of "been in love with you from afar for years." Maybe if the people are good friends and one secretly wants to be more than friends, okay. But if they've basically never even had a conversation, how can the one person really be "in love" with the other? They don't even know them. Find them attractive physically, sure. Find the things they do in public (because stalking and peeping are really not romantic) admirable, sure. That's a good basis for asking someone to go on a date with you. To me, it's not a good basis for gazing moonily at them from the other side of the room for years, denying all other romantic attempts, and finally at some point declaring that you're "in love" with them. I'm sure, in the entire history of the world, it's happened before, and maybe it's even worked out sometimes, but it must happen 1000% more often in fiction, and with far less realism in the details.

In a limited sense, I can understand this. I'm totally in love with one of my friends, have been for years. I also respect the fact that she doesn't reciprocate the love I have for her and doesn't see anything happening between us. I'm perfectly willing to be best friends with her, and nearly like sisters, but if somehow in the future she changed her mind, I would jump for joy at the chance to be with her.

However most people don't do it right. If you're waiting for your chance from afar, that's just weird. Borderline stalking. It has to be a fully open line of communication and both parties have to be comfortable with it for it to work out.

Slartibartfast

  • Super Hero!
  • ****
  • Posts: 11769
    • Nerdy Necklaces - my Etsy shop!
Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
« Reply #1411 on: September 17, 2013, 06:13:55 PM »
I only like series that have a planned end if they're all about the same characters  titles that tell you that there will probably be twenty more books, don't believe that this boyfriend is the heroine's true love.

I wouldn't mind this quite so much if so many series didn't feel the need for every book to have a "happy" ending, so the heroine gets together with her current squeeze/ex/guy who smiled at her in the line at the supermarket and all is well... until the next book starts at least. Unless the books have a habit of large time skips (which some series do well), it makes the heroine seem rather flighty.

Or hero. A lot of male protagonists suffer from this as well.

James Bond comes to mind . . .

PeterM

  • Hero Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 3321
Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
« Reply #1412 on: September 17, 2013, 06:41:21 PM »
I wouldn't mind this quite so much if so many series didn't feel the need for every book to have a "happy" ending, so the heroine gets together with her current squeeze/ex/guy who smiled at her in the line at the supermarket and all is well... until the next book starts at least. Unless the books have a habit of large time skips (which some series do well), it makes the heroine seem rather flighty.

Or hero. A lot of male protagonists suffer from this as well.

James Bond comes to mind . . .

I'd say not for Bond, actually. He generally doesn't care all that much about the women he ends up with and never intends for any relationship he has with them to be more than a fling. The ones he does care about are courteous enough to get themselves killed and thus leave him single for the next adventure.

Leafy

  • Member
  • **
  • Posts: 186
Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
« Reply #1413 on: September 18, 2013, 12:50:33 AM »
Okay, I pulled out my copy of "The Annotated Pride and Prejudice," and this is what it says about the exchange:

Quote
Who turned which color is impossible to determine. The best guess is that Wickham turned red and Darcy white, for the former turns out to have reason to be embarrassed and the latter reason to be angry; Darcy is described as becoming pale with anger in a later scene with Elizabeth.

Because of the bolded, I would be willing to change my answer. (Though Wickham still doesn't seem like the type to blush to me). But in the end, I don't think it matters.  :) The point is they both have very visceral reactions to seeing each other.

I recall reading some anthropological book once that went into this (can't remember the title). The author posited that flushing was an alarm response for "minor alarms"; if it was replaced by going pale, it was for serious emotional disturbance. All had to do with directing blood flow where it was needed for flight/fight responses.

So, I think Austen may have been indicating "Wickham thought 'oh, this is awkward." Darcy thought, 'oh, this is horrible!'"

As this all happens before the great revelation, when everyone thinks highly of Wickham and poorly of Darcy, I assumed it was left unspecified so as to not give away the later turn of events. On later readings you can attribute as you see fit.

iridaceae

  • Boring in real life as well
  • Hero Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 3885
Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
« Reply #1414 on: September 18, 2013, 02:51:59 AM »


James Bond comes to mind . . .

I'd say not for Bond, actually. He generally doesn't care all that much about the women he ends up with and never intends for any relationship he has with them to be more than a fling. The ones he does care about are courteous enough to get themselves killed and thus leave him single for the next adventure.

Exception: Kissy Suzuki and to a lesser extent the narrator of The Spy Who Loved Me.

lady_disdain

  • Super Hero!
  • ****
  • Posts: 5890
    • Contemporary Jewelry
Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
« Reply #1415 on: September 18, 2013, 08:38:32 AM »
Dan Brown's Robert Langdon has this tendency. Each book seems (I only read 2, I am basing the rest on reviews and comments) to have a new sexy lady ready to fall for him.

daen

  • Member
  • **
  • Posts: 801
Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
« Reply #1416 on: September 18, 2013, 10:39:52 AM »


James Bond comes to mind . . .

I'd say not for Bond, actually. He generally doesn't care all that much about the women he ends up with and never intends for any relationship he has with them to be more than a fling. The ones he does care about are courteous enough to get themselves killed and thus leave him single for the next adventure.

Exception: Kissy Suzuki and to a lesser extent the narrator of The Spy Who Loved Me.

I recall reading somewhere that one reason why James Bond generally doesn't get emotionally involved is because he doesn't consider it an option. His line of work means he could get killed at any time, so he lives fully in the moment and doesn't think about the future.
The amount of "collateral damage" to the women who end up in his orbit probably discourages long-term attachment as well.

Winterlight

  • On the internet, no one can tell you're a dog- arf.
  • Super Hero!
  • ****
  • Posts: 9883
Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
« Reply #1417 on: September 18, 2013, 10:53:39 AM »


James Bond comes to mind . . .

I'd say not for Bond, actually. He generally doesn't care all that much about the women he ends up with and never intends for any relationship he has with them to be more than a fling. The ones he does care about are courteous enough to get themselves killed and thus leave him single for the next adventure.

Exception: Kissy Suzuki and to a lesser extent the narrator of The Spy Who Loved Me.

And Tiffany Case.

I recall reading somewhere that one reason why James Bond generally doesn't get emotionally involved is because he doesn't consider it an option. His line of work means he could get killed at any time, so he lives fully in the moment and doesn't think about the future.
The amount of "collateral damage" to the women who end up in his orbit probably discourages long-term attachment as well.

That was my understanding as well. He really loved Vesper and Tracy, but neither of them survived their respective books. In his shoes, it's not surprising he goes for more short-term things where he may like the girl but it's never going to go beyond that brief affair.
If wisdom’s ways you wisely seek,
Five things observe with care,
To whom you speak,
Of whom you speak,
And how, and when, and where.
Caroline Lake Ingalls

cwm

  • Hero Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 2427
Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
« Reply #1418 on: September 26, 2013, 11:39:46 AM »
Okay, I've noticed something in books and movies and TV shows that's really starting to bother me.

Protagonist is the only person in the world with the ability to get the Super Special Item. Antagonist needs the Super Special Item to take over the world. The entire series is about protagonist going to get the Super Special Item before the timeframe set by the method of world domination by the antagonist. Bonus if the protagonist has a team of great people around him who protect him thoroughly while he retrieves Super Special Item.

Seriously. If I was told that I'm the only person who can get some sort of magical item, and someone else needs it by the end of the month to take over the world and they don't even know where it is, I'm not going to start some huge quest to get it. I'm staying exactly where I am, if not moving somewhere safter, and avoiding all involvement with magical item and antagonist. And if I've got a team that can protect me while we're on the road and exposed all the time, they can sure as heck protect me while we're hunkered down in a safe location. Wait until the timeframe has passed, then go deal with the antagonist once their plan for world domination is thwarted.

artk2002

  • Super Hero!
  • ****
  • Posts: 12983
    • The Delian's Commonwealth
Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
« Reply #1419 on: September 26, 2013, 02:39:52 PM »
Okay, I've noticed something in books and movies and TV shows that's really starting to bother me.

Protagonist is the only person in the world with the ability to get the Super Special Item. Antagonist needs the Super Special Item to take over the world. The entire series is about protagonist going to get the Super Special Item before the timeframe set by the method of world domination by the antagonist. Bonus if the protagonist has a team of great people around him who protect him thoroughly while he retrieves Super Special Item.

Seriously. If I was told that I'm the only person who can get some sort of magical item, and someone else needs it by the end of the month to take over the world and they don't even know where it is, I'm not going to start some huge quest to get it. I'm staying exactly where I am, if not moving somewhere safter, and avoiding all involvement with magical item and antagonist. And if I've got a team that can protect me while we're on the road and exposed all the time, they can sure as heck protect me while we're hunkered down in a safe location. Wait until the timeframe has passed, then go deal with the antagonist once their plan for world domination is thwarted.

That's the equivalent of the horror-flick teenager who says "There's something creepy out there. I'm going by myself to investigate!"
Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn't do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bow lines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover. -Mark Twain

Pen^2

  • Hero Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 1107
Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
« Reply #1420 on: September 26, 2013, 02:52:33 PM »
Okay, I've noticed something in books and movies and TV shows that's really starting to bother me.

Protagonist is the only person in the world with the ability to get the Super Special Item. Antagonist needs the Super Special Item to take over the world. The entire series is about protagonist going to get the Super Special Item before the timeframe set by the method of world domination by the antagonist. Bonus if the protagonist has a team of great people around him who protect him thoroughly while he retrieves Super Special Item.

Seriously. If I was told that I'm the only person who can get some sort of magical item, and someone else needs it by the end of the month to take over the world and they don't even know where it is, I'm not going to start some huge quest to get it. I'm staying exactly where I am, if not moving somewhere safter, and avoiding all involvement with magical item and antagonist. And if I've got a team that can protect me while we're on the road and exposed all the time, they can sure as heck protect me while we're hunkered down in a safe location. Wait until the timeframe has passed, then go deal with the antagonist once their plan for world domination is thwarted.

This reminds me so strongly of The Evil Overlord Manual (http://www.worldconquer.org/evil_overlord.html). A similar annoyance is when the Big Baddie has only one weakness: a specific Magical Item. So Big Baddie orders his entire nation/army/group to get Magical Item so it can't be used against him. Yep, what a good way to broadcast you only weakness to everyone! I'm sure nothing will go wrong there. The Evil Overlord Manual advises, "If I learn the whereabouts of the one artifact which can destroy me, I will not send all my troops out to seize it. Instead I will send them out to seize something else and quietly put a Want-Ad in the local paper."

mrs_deb

  • Member
  • **
  • Posts: 905
  • I didn't expect THAT to happen!
Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
« Reply #1421 on: September 26, 2013, 11:16:07 PM »

#6.  Shouldered.  "He shouldered his way into the room."  ...REALLY?????  He SHOULDERED his way into the room?  :P.

Ouch, I can see shouldering his way through a crowd. But into a room?


If I read this, I'd assume he was breaking down the door.

Really? I would assume that there must be people at the door he had to shoulder his way past. Then again this is without context, so...

I would assume he was very frail and so had trouble walking through air pockets.

You guys are killing me :-).

I already returned the e-book to the library, and some other poor sucker romance reader has checked it out, so I can't give you the exact quote today, but I put a hold on the book so when s/he returns it, I'll get it back :-).

To the best of my knowledge there was nobody blocking his way, the room wasn't full, etc.  It's just his manly way of walking, I guess.

Three weeks!  Three weeks I had to wait for this book!  :-)

OK, here are the exact sentences.

1.  He didn't like how chilly Willa looked as he shouldered through the front door.

2.  Thinking how cheerful the house would be put a smile on her face as she shouldered out into the storm.  (Uh-oh...not just a manly way of walking!)

3.  She shouldered past him, grabbed the teapot, and stalked the few feet to the table.  (Ditto!)

4.  Brant shouldered into the entry.

5.  Another blow he had to take as he shouldered into the room.

6.  He shouldered open the front door.  (This one I can almost see.)



It's only a 200 page book.  Six shoulderings is more than any woman should have to bear.

Mel the Redcap

  • Scheming Foreign Hussy!
  • Member
  • **
  • Posts: 970
Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
« Reply #1422 on: September 27, 2013, 12:28:12 AM »

#6.  Shouldered.  "He shouldered his way into the room."  ...REALLY?????  He SHOULDERED his way into the room?  :P.

Ouch, I can see shouldering his way through a crowd. But into a room?


If I read this, I'd assume he was breaking down the door.

Really? I would assume that there must be people at the door he had to shoulder his way past. Then again this is without context, so...

I would assume he was very frail and so had trouble walking through air pockets.

You guys are killing me :-).

I already returned the e-book to the library, and some other poor sucker romance reader has checked it out, so I can't give you the exact quote today, but I put a hold on the book so when s/he returns it, I'll get it back :-).

To the best of my knowledge there was nobody blocking his way, the room wasn't full, etc.  It's just his manly way of walking, I guess.

Three weeks!  Three weeks I had to wait for this book!  :-)

OK, here are the exact sentences.

1.  He didn't like how chilly Willa looked as he shouldered through the front door.

2.  Thinking how cheerful the house would be put a smile on her face as she shouldered out into the storm.  (Uh-oh...not just a manly way of walking!)

3.  She shouldered past him, grabbed the teapot, and stalked the few feet to the table.  (Ditto!)

4.  Brant shouldered into the entry.

5.  Another blow he had to take as he shouldered into the room.

6.  He shouldered open the front door.  (This one I can almost see.)



It's only a 200 page book.  Six shoulderings is more than any woman should have to bear.

I'm now imagining all the characters wearing American football gear, pads and all. >:D
"Set aphasia to stun!"

zyrs

  • Hero Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 2012
  • spiffily male.
Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
« Reply #1423 on: September 27, 2013, 04:52:19 AM »


4.  Brant shouldered into the entry.

The entry shouldered him back and he gluteus maximused the floor.




cabbageweevil

  • Hero Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 1099
Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
« Reply #1424 on: September 27, 2013, 07:24:29 AM »
1.  He didn't like how chilly Willa looked as he shouldered through the front door.
Am now envisaging a villainess -- important to the story -- called Chilly Willa.