Author Topic: Reading/Book Pet Peeves  (Read 224133 times)

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MariaE

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Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
« Reply #1455 on: November 19, 2013, 12:56:48 AM »
There's a fairy tale I read when I was small--either Grimm or Anderson--about a man who gets three hellhounds to be his loyal servants, and they basically grant wishes. But to make them sound scary, they are described as having huge, glaring eyes. Unfortunately, it always made me laugh at how ridiculous it was. One had eyes the size of teacups, the next had eyes the size of large plates, and the last had eyes the size of windmills. It totally ruined the scary atmosphere the author was trying to create, and made me laugh my socks off as a kid.
Does it make it better if I mention the oldest fairy tales book I have makes it plain these are proportionate to the size of each dog? The illustrations gave me nightmares as a child.

It's H.C. Andersen, and atrial is correct - it's not that they have huge eyes, but that they are so huge that that is how large their eyes are.

But it's not windmills, it's the Round Tower of Copenhagen!!! Sigh  :( Guess that doesn't translate well though.
 
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Pen^2

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Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
« Reply #1456 on: November 19, 2013, 01:46:44 AM »
There's a fairy tale I read when I was small--either Grimm or Anderson--about a man who gets three hellhounds to be his loyal servants, and they basically grant wishes. But to make them sound scary, they are described as having huge, glaring eyes. Unfortunately, it always made me laugh at how ridiculous it was. One had eyes the size of teacups, the next had eyes the size of large plates, and the last had eyes the size of windmills. It totally ruined the scary atmosphere the author was trying to create, and made me laugh my socks off as a kid.
Does it make it better if I mention the oldest fairy tales book I have makes it plain these are proportionate to the size of each dog? The illustrations gave me nightmares as a child.

It's H.C. Andersen, and atrial is correct - it's not that they have huge eyes, but that they are so huge that that is how large their eyes are.

But it's not windmills, it's the Round Tower of Copenhagen!!! Sigh  :( Guess that doesn't translate well though.

Ahh, so the dogs themselves were supposed to be huge? That makes so much more sense. I had a book with a picture of only the second (I think) dog, and it was a normal sized animal with huge eyes, so I naturally thought the last dog was hilarious. Maybe someone got a little creative with the illustrations in that book...

MariaE

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Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
« Reply #1457 on: November 19, 2013, 02:29:30 AM »
There's a fairy tale I read when I was small--either Grimm or Anderson--about a man who gets three hellhounds to be his loyal servants, and they basically grant wishes. But to make them sound scary, they are described as having huge, glaring eyes. Unfortunately, it always made me laugh at how ridiculous it was. One had eyes the size of teacups, the next had eyes the size of large plates, and the last had eyes the size of windmills. It totally ruined the scary atmosphere the author was trying to create, and made me laugh my socks off as a kid.
Does it make it better if I mention the oldest fairy tales book I have makes it plain these are proportionate to the size of each dog? The illustrations gave me nightmares as a child.

It's H.C. Andersen, and atrial is correct - it's not that they have huge eyes, but that they are so huge that that is how large their eyes are.

But it's not windmills, it's the Round Tower of Copenhagen!!! Sigh  :( Guess that doesn't translate well though.

Ahh, so the dogs themselves were supposed to be huge? That makes so much more sense. I had a book with a picture of only the second (I think) dog, and it was a normal sized animal with huge eyes, so I naturally thought the last dog was hilarious. Maybe someone got a little creative with the illustrations in that book...

Dude! That does sound kinda ridiculous. The illustrations I've seen have always been of large dogs with slightly-larger-than-normal eyes... typically with teacups/mill wheels/round tower next to the pupils for size. Let me see if google has anything...

Like this :)
 
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Winterlight

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Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
« Reply #1458 on: November 19, 2013, 11:02:20 AM »
I can't remember if I posted this or not, but I remembered another one while reading a book. Where an author gets lazy by cutting and pasting in whole pages of stuff from previous books in the same series, instead of just summing up the situation.

Susan Wittig Albert is prone to this. It's so annoying. I used to like her books but the Beatrix Potter series had huge chunks from previous books stuck in with just a few words changed. Yech!

I was thumbing through a book today and came across an engagement ring described as "a sapphire surrounded by diamonds the size of quail eggs." Eeek - what is the size of the thing? I couldn't fit one quail egg on my finger, much less several of them around a sapphire.

Since a quail egg is around the size of a plastic soda bottle cap, that's going to be a really heavy ring. To say nothing of the fact that you won't be able to see the sapphire unless it's the size of a hen's egg!
« Last Edit: November 19, 2013, 11:06:27 AM by Winterlight »
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Elfmama

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Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
« Reply #1459 on: November 19, 2013, 11:54:26 AM »
I was thumbing through a book today and came across an engagement ring described as "a sapphire surrounded by diamonds the size of quail eggs." Eeek - what is the size of the thing? I couldn't fit one quail egg on my finger, much less several of them around a sapphire.

Since a quail egg is around the size of a plastic soda bottle cap, that's going to be a really heavy ring. To say nothing of the fact that you won't be able to see the sapphire unless it's the size of a hen's egg!
Maybe the author meant that the central sapphire was the size of a quail's egg, surrounded by smaller diamonds?  A lot of authors seem to specialize in misplaced modifiers. 

There have been rings with stones darned near the size of doorknobs.  Look at Elizabeth Taylor's ring here:



Wouldn't that thing be heavy and uncomfortable and awkward? Think how easily it would snag on something!
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Yarnspinner

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Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
« Reply #1460 on: November 19, 2013, 11:54:47 AM »
There's a fairy tale I read when I was small--either Grimm or Anderson--about a man who gets three hellhounds to be his loyal servants, and they basically grant wishes. But to make them sound scary, they are described as having huge, glaring eyes. Unfortunately, it always made me laugh at how ridiculous it was. One had eyes the size of teacups, the next had eyes the size of large plates, and the last had eyes the size of windmills. It totally ruined the scary atmosphere the author was trying to create, and made me laugh my socks off as a kid.
Does it make it better if I mention the oldest fairy tales book I have makes it plain these are proportionate to the size of each dog? The illustrations gave me nightmares as a child.

It's H.C. Andersen, and atrial is correct - it's not that they have huge eyes, but that they are so huge that that is how large their eyes are.

But it's not windmills, it's the Round Tower of Copenhagen!!! Sigh  :( Guess that doesn't translate well though.

Ahh, so the dogs themselves were supposed to be huge? That makes so much more sense. I had a book with a picture of only the second (I think) dog, and it was a normal sized animal with huge eyes, so I naturally thought the last dog was hilarious. Maybe someone got a little creative with the illustrations in that book...

Dude! That does sound kinda ridiculous. The illustrations I've seen have always been of large dogs with slightly-larger-than-normal eyes... typically with teacups/mill wheels/round tower next to the pupils for size. Let me see if google has anything...

Like this :)

This is the Tinderbox, no?  I always assumed it was gigantic dogs and so their eyes would be proportionately huge.  I always wondered where he HID the dogs since they would be mighty obvious following him around.

Three dogs seemed to be a popular motif.  There was another story set in Spain in which the hero comes into possession of three large, but fairly normal sized dogs.  They each had a specific name for the task they could do:

Breakmyfast; Breakthroughsteel and Breakhisback.

The hero uses dog #3 to kill a dragon terrorizing the country.  Somehow he is jailed and Breakthroughsteel saves him from the dungeon.  Breakmyfast is enterprising enough that he goes and gets food from the princess who was in love with the hero and was being forced to marry the evil coachman who took credit for the hero's deeds.  You can all guess which dog the coachman ends up dancing with.

When I was very young I loved these stories very much...as an adult I still love them, but some of the motifs give me the creeps:  the royal princess is always threatened and abused by her servants, for example:  the coachman in this story, the ladies' maid in The Goose Girl (which upset me most because of the treatment of the Princess's beloved horse) and so many other nasty, vicious and apparently uberjealous poverty stricken folks. 

As a child I simply thought there was a good reason why these people were living in the dirt.  As an adult I realize that they represent archetypes and not actual poor people or princesses.  Even so, it's kind of creepy that the poor are always the bad guys.

Kariachi

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Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
« Reply #1461 on: November 19, 2013, 12:10:22 PM »
Okay, it's any annoying thing that pops up in some fairy and folk tales.

Wasting everybody's time. When the hero has several days to do something, he can do it the first day, but he holds off for no real reason. Or maybe he does have a reason, and nobody told me.

Case in point. I read The Princess On The Glass Mountain a few weeks ago. Someone, please tell me, is it just that my version was missing the bits where the prince was given a time limit? And told that he couldn't actually go claim his prize? Because if I were the princess I would have been beating that boy to death with his own boots. I sat on top of a glass mountain to get a husband, not so you could horde your trophy until threatened. Beat him to death, maybe the next guy will actually want me.

That story annoyed me so bad...

"Heh. Forgive our manners, little creature — that we may well kill and eat you is no excuse for rudeness."

Yarnspinner

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Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
« Reply #1462 on: November 19, 2013, 02:41:40 PM »
Okay, it's any annoying thing that pops up in some fairy and folk tales.

Wasting everybody's time. When the hero has several days to do something, he can do it the first day, but he holds off for no real reason. Or maybe he does have a reason, and nobody told me.

Case in point. I read The Princess On The Glass Mountain a few weeks ago. Someone, please tell me, is it just that my version was missing the bits where the prince was given a time limit? And told that he couldn't actually go claim his prize? Because if I were the princess I would have been beating that boy to death with his own boots. I sat on top of a glass mountain to get a husband, not so you could horde your trophy until threatened. Beat him to death, maybe the next guy will actually want me.

That story annoyed me so bad...



In the version I remember he was to ride up the hill so the princess could roll a ball of a different precious metal down the glass hill where it conveniently hopped into his boot like a game of skittles.  Did he have to collect all three balls in order to redeem them for the princess?

As a kid I took a lot of this for granted.  The Mermaid and the Miller's Son was one of those.  Mermaid helps miller, miller (who apparently does double duty as his village's idiot) tells her he will give her the first thing born at his home that day, thinking of his dog who is about to whelp.  He forgets that his wife is also in labor at the moment.  So he hides his son from the mermaid for years. Son gets married to a smart cookie of a girl.  Except one day, he, following in father's footsteps leans too close to the water, et voila!  He is now a guest of Hotel Chez Mermaid.

Smart Cookie, like all the girls in this particular fairy tale (my husband has been kidnapped, time to consult some wise old sorceress) comes into possession of three golden objects.  She uses them one at a time by the water's edge so that the mermaid will come close and demand the shiny object.  For each object the bride is given a glimpse of her husband rising from the water.  But she isn't able to grab him and pull him out until the third time.  Even then, the mermaid wreaks havoc with the water and the wind--she's in a POND for crying out loud...how much damage can she DO?--and the good sorceress turns husband and wife into frogs so they can weather the storm.

Brides were lucky their husbands gave them three passes whenever their evil mothers in law kidnapped their children and spread blood on the sleeping bride's lips so it would appear the young mother ate her baby.  Husbands believed this nonsense why?

Kariachi

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Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
« Reply #1463 on: November 19, 2013, 03:07:09 PM »
Okay, it's any annoying thing that pops up in some fairy and folk tales.

Wasting everybody's time. When the hero has several days to do something, he can do it the first day, but he holds off for no real reason. Or maybe he does have a reason, and nobody told me.

Case in point. I read The Princess On The Glass Mountain a few weeks ago. Someone, please tell me, is it just that my version was missing the bits where the prince was given a time limit? And told that he couldn't actually go claim his prize? Because if I were the princess I would have been beating that boy to death with his own boots. I sat on top of a glass mountain to get a husband, not so you could horde your trophy until threatened. Beat him to death, maybe the next guy will actually want me.

That story annoyed me so bad...



In the version I remember he was to ride up the hill so the princess could roll a ball of a different precious metal down the glass hill where it conveniently hopped into his boot like a game of skittles.  Did he have to collect all three balls in order to redeem them for the princess?

As a kid I took a lot of this for granted.  The Mermaid and the Miller's Son was one of those.  Mermaid helps miller, miller (who apparently does double duty as his village's idiot) tells her he will give her the first thing born at his home that day, thinking of his dog who is about to whelp.  He forgets that his wife is also in labor at the moment.  So he hides his son from the mermaid for years. Son gets married to a smart cookie of a girl.  Except one day, he, following in father's footsteps leans too close to the water, et voila!  He is now a guest of Hotel Chez Mermaid.

Smart Cookie, like all the girls in this particular fairy tale (my husband has been kidnapped, time to consult some wise old sorceress) comes into possession of three golden objects.  She uses them one at a time by the water's edge so that the mermaid will come close and demand the shiny object.  For each object the bride is given a glimpse of her husband rising from the water.  But she isn't able to grab him and pull him out until the third time.  Even then, the mermaid wreaks havoc with the water and the wind--she's in a POND for crying out loud...how much damage can she DO?--and the good sorceress turns husband and wife into frogs so they can weather the storm.

Brides were lucky their husbands gave them three passes whenever their evil mothers in law kidnapped their children and spread blood on the sleeping bride's lips so it would appear the young mother ate her baby.  Husbands believed this nonsense why?

The version I read had the princess hold a golden apple. All the prince had to do was come down the mountain with it. He went up once, waved hello, and left without the apple for no apparent reason. Went up again, hello again, left again. Finally took the apple on his third trip, then ran away and didn't come forward for weeks to claim his bride despite everybody looking for him and sending word that he's welcome, until the king decreed that every man in the kingdom was going to come to the castle whether they wanted to or not. Then she identified him as the dude with her apple, he produced it, and they lived happily ever after.

I repeat, I would have beat him to death with his own boots.

Even better, those "she ate the baby" stories, in several cases, involve the mother being mute for some reason or another! Which the king knew! And yet still listened when told that her not saying she didn't means she did! Of course she won't say she didn't you buffoon she can't talk! You know this!

At least the Irish "she ate the baby" story the king didn't sentence her to death. Although you'd think the maids would have had the sense to question which would cause them more trouble, losing the prince or accusing the queen of eating her baby?
"Heh. Forgive our manners, little creature — that we may well kill and eat you is no excuse for rudeness."

Yarnspinner

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Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
« Reply #1464 on: November 19, 2013, 08:39:05 PM »
Slightly off topic but sticking to fairy tales:  I had the pleasure of seeing the souped up rewritten version of Rodgers and Hammerstein's "Cinderella" this weekend.  When I heard that it had been rewritten to include "positive social messages" I was perturbed because the positive social messages almost always take the form of "eat the rich".

Happily, it was more about kindness to the poor and being responsible for each other. (My cynical self kind of chuckled that everyone was so upset that the Prince's guardian--he's an orphan in this edition--is "buying up all the land belonging to the poor."  I kept thinking "This thing is sort of set in the 1600s.  The poor didn't own land; they barely could rent it!")  But what I liked BEST was that, of all versions of the R&H Cinderella, THIS one rewrote the part of Cinderella so that she had more spine and somewhat less help from magical mice and so forth.  Yes, there was a fairy godmother, but she mainly provided a new dress and a kick in the pants. 

Even better, the prince was finally given an actual personality beyond "stoic handsome guy with cash."  He was, in fact, an insecure goofball who also needed a kick in the pants to realize that his guardian was stealing from his subjects.  Also, he had excellent comic timing.  I heartily recommend.

Off the topic of fairy tales, I nominate a theme in far too many chick lit books in which our quiet, meditative heroine is forced into the messy lives of her less responsible, often selfish, siblings and eventually Learns That They Have Good Reason To Be Angry.  After which there is a big happy reunion scene set several months later with pregnancies and marriages abounding.

Sorry, but in real life, I have several quiet, contemplative friends who have excellent reasons to avoid their irresponsible, selfish family members.  Getting involved again will only lead to a horror show that would completely upset their (finally) healthy home lives.

Redsoil

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Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
« Reply #1465 on: November 20, 2013, 06:57:19 AM »
I started it and couldn't get beyond about 1/4 of the way through.  HATED it!
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iridaceae

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Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
« Reply #1466 on: November 20, 2013, 07:14:45 AM »
I started it and couldn't get beyond about 1/4 of the way through.  HATED it!
What is "it"?

Diane AKA Traska

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Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
« Reply #1467 on: November 20, 2013, 07:54:11 AM »
I started it and couldn't get beyond about 1/4 of the way through.  HATED it!
What is "it"?

IS IT!  What is it...

Sorry.  Faith No More moment.  ;D
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Redsoil

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Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
« Reply #1468 on: November 20, 2013, 09:11:44 AM »
Oops.  Forgot to quote.  "The Book Thief", referenced by another poster who seemed to dislike the style in which it was written.
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MariaE

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Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
« Reply #1469 on: November 20, 2013, 09:39:38 AM »
Oops.  Forgot to quote.  "The Book Thief", referenced by another poster who seemed to dislike the style in which it was written.

I finished it, but really don't get the hype. I remember it as being kinda dull.
 
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