Author Topic: Reading/Book Pet Peeves  (Read 253651 times)

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Jocelyn

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Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
« Reply #1575 on: December 20, 2013, 02:29:39 AM »


I got so mad one time. Yes, it was a fanfic, but the author basically said that the characters had to stop and pull off to the side of the road to use the restroom shortly after switching from I-70 to I-35. Said there was nothing east of Denver until Des Moines.

Except, you know, Topeka, Lawrence, the entire giant Kansas City Metro Area. The only place to go from I-70 to I-35 is right in the middle of downtown. Two minutes spent looking at any sort of atlas or map would have given them this information. I mean, even if they didn't know how big Kansas City was, we had at the time six interstate highways going through in various directions. That, to me, means that it's at least a decent sized city and you can stop for a bathroom break.
Well, you could hit the I-435 bypass just east of Bonner Springs, then loop around the airport and get on I-35. That's how I'd do it, rather than going through downtown. :) But yes, once you hit Topeka, you're pretty much out of the rural area, and there's a rest stop just east of Topeka on I-70. Not to mention there's Salina, Manhattan, Junction City, Hays, etc. off I-70 west of Topeka.
Anyone who could drive from Denver to Kansas City without a bathroom stop either has the bladder of an elephant, or started the trip seriously dehydrated.  ::)

Winterlight

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Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
« Reply #1576 on: December 20, 2013, 10:38:58 AM »
The hero who is always able to perform his scrabble duties, no matter what.  I remember one book, where the hero had been beaten to a bloody pulp, and without even an aspirin, he does his duty.

There was a worse one.  The hero, pining for his lady love, gets dead drunk, and spends several sessions in the bathroom, throwing up.  Then the next morning, still a little hungover, he is awakened by said lady love sliding into bed with him.  Earth shattering scrabble follows.  I was screaming, "Ew!  He didn't even brush his teeth!  He has to reek to high heaven."

Neither of these were romantic novels, by the way, but hard bitten detective novels.  I would hope that most romantic novelists would realize that readers prefer their heroes to be clean and not bleeding.

I think of those as men's romance novels.
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Twik

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Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
« Reply #1577 on: December 20, 2013, 11:16:50 AM »
My pet peeve is a formatting one vs a writing issue.  I despise when, in an effort to make the page look neat, they align the text to either side and just vary the spacing between the words.  (Newspapers are horrible about this but with skinny columns of text, I guess it makes sense.

How                  do            you
read  like this?!  It doesn't make
sense      to                       me.

That's the automatic justification, not really a deliberate choice. It works out with wider columns, but they forget to take it off when the columns are too narrow for it.
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Softly Spoken

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Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
« Reply #1578 on: December 20, 2013, 12:17:19 PM »
Okay so I just finished reading an anthology of short stories (which I usually love), and I've never been this disappointed before. I feel like more than half of them were, well, cut short. Something about the pacing and plot arc just left me really annoyed. Short stories don't all have to be tied up in a neat little bow, but if they aren't they work best when treated as a little vignette or slice of a bigger story. So many of the ones I read ended so abruptly after moving at a normal pace, I found myself turning the page to see if two had stuck together. Seeing only the next story, I could only ask incredulously "Wait. That's it? Really?" Very frustrating. >:(

Extra gripe: I've never read so many stories that seemed to suffer from the cliches of their genre. It was a collection of western/western noir stories. Far too many double crosses and heavy handed misogyny. Practicaly every other genre seems to have been able to do something new, but IMHO westerns and romances have played it too safe, too shallow and have stubbornly stuck to their tropes. :P
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Editeer

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Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
« Reply #1579 on: December 20, 2013, 02:54:28 PM »
The hero who is always able to perform his scrabble duties, no matter what.  I remember one book, where the hero had been beaten to a bloody pulp, and without even an aspirin, he does his duty.

There was a worse one.  The hero, pining for his lady love, gets dead drunk, and spends several sessions in the bathroom, throwing up.  Then the next morning, still a little hungover, he is awakened by said lady love sliding into bed with him.  Earth shattering scrabble follows.  I was screaming, "Ew!  He didn't even brush his teeth!  He has to reek to high heaven."

Neither of these were romantic novels, by the way, but hard bitten detective novels.  I would hope that most romantic novelists would realize that readers prefer their heroes to be clean and not bleeding.

I think of those as men's romance novels.


You might enjoy this:
http://the-toast.net/2013/11/04/male-novelist-jokes/

Be sure to read the comments, too.

Lynn2000

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Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
« Reply #1580 on: December 20, 2013, 04:59:40 PM »
Okay so I just finished reading an anthology of short stories (which I usually love), and I've never been this disappointed before. I feel like more than half of them were, well, cut short. Something about the pacing and plot arc just left me really annoyed. Short stories don't all have to be tied up in a neat little bow, but if they aren't they work best when treated as a little vignette or slice of a bigger story. So many of the ones I read ended so abruptly after moving at a normal pace, I found myself turning the page to see if two had stuck together. Seeing only the next story, I could only ask incredulously "Wait. That's it? Really?" Very frustrating. >:(

Extra gripe: I've never read so many stories that seemed to suffer from the cliches of their genre. It was a collection of western/western noir stories. Far too many double crosses and heavy handed misogyny. Practicaly every other genre seems to have been able to do something new, but IMHO westerns and romances have played it too safe, too shallow and have stubbornly stuck to their tropes. :P

Reminds me of a book of short sci-fi stories I read once. Many of them had intriguing setups, but every single one had some kind of "big twist" at the end, to the point where I wasn't becoming invested in the characters because I figured 1) they were all dead and this was a replay of their last transmission; 2) they were all holograms; 3) they were all hallucinations; you get the idea. I didn't see why we couldn't have a few straight-forward stories with aliens and spaceships, and no bizarre upending twist that was supposed to be deeply philosophical but was really just silly.
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Piratelvr1121

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Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
« Reply #1581 on: December 20, 2013, 08:29:36 PM »
Yes, it is little orphan Annie. And they are remaking the movie again? This will be the third time, not counting that awful sequel set in London.

I only saw the one remake with Kathy Bates as Miss Hannigan and I just didn't enjoy it at all but it did have a fairly decent adult cast and they could have made it a lot better.  I really loved the 1982 version but then I just love Carol Burnett as Miss Hannigan.
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squeakers

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Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
« Reply #1582 on: December 20, 2013, 10:04:48 PM »

I quit reading Tom Clancy because I got tired of his heros observing, in every blessed book, that the bad guys had destroyed their night vision by lighting a cigarette.
Well, actually, I quit reading him when I heard that his new book had a plot device of the bad guys buying up huge amounts of land in Western Kansas, so they could have absolute secrecy to plot and plan. One thing I know about my fellow Kansans, if strangers came into town and started buying up land, SOMEONE would go out there to find out what the heck they were doing out there. Undoubtedly, someone with a gun rack in their pick-up. Plus, this presupposes that large tracts of land are for sale at any given time, so that you wouldn't end up with a gerrymander.  >:D

Except it does happen IRL: http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation/2013/09/19/leith-north-dakota-white-supremacist-takeover/2838131/ Well, other than the absolute secrecy part.
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Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
« Reply #1583 on: December 21, 2013, 06:44:33 PM »
Okay so I just finished reading an anthology of short stories (which I usually love), and I've never been this disappointed before. I feel like more than half of them were, well, cut short. Something about the pacing and plot arc just left me really annoyed. Short stories don't all have to be tied up in a neat little bow, but if they aren't they work best when treated as a little vignette or slice of a bigger story. So many of the ones I read ended so abruptly after moving at a normal pace, I found myself turning the page to see if two had stuck together. Seeing only the next story, I could only ask incredulously "Wait. That's it? Really?" Very frustrating. >:(

Extra gripe: I've never read so many stories that seemed to suffer from the cliches of their genre. It was a collection of western/western noir stories. Far too many double crosses and heavy handed misogyny. Practically every other genre seems to have been able to do something new, but IMHO westerns and romances have played it too safe, too shallow and have stubbornly stuck to their tropes. :P

Reminds me of a book of short sci-fi stories I read once. Many of them had intriguing setups, but every single one had some kind of "big twist" at the end, to the point where I wasn't becoming invested in the characters because I figured 1) they were all dead and this was a replay of their last transmission; 2) they were all holograms; 3) they were all hallucinations; you get the idea. I didn't see why we couldn't have a few straight-forward stories with aliens and spaceships, and no bizarre upending twist that was supposed to be deeply philosophical but was really just silly.

Ah that's funny, because I will take a predictable/cliche ending over no ending any time! ::) I love watching reruns of "The Twilight Zone" and I never get tired of the twist endings - maybe its some kind of weird nostalgia being activated, or because it makes me feel smart? ;D

It's the stories that leave me hanging without even a direction to send my imagination that I can't abide.

Also, perhaps both our collections were marred simply by virtue of being collected together as they were. If the editors had chosen more diverse stories (it's not like they are ever short on choices), then the flaws/similarities wouldn't have been as noticeable. Usually good editors take the time to make sure there is enough variety in the stories they are grouping together under a given subject or genre.
"... for there is nothing either good or bad, but thinking makes it so."
-William Shakespeare

"We find comfort among those who agree with us - growth among those who don't."  ~Frank A. Clark

squeakers

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Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
« Reply #1584 on: December 28, 2013, 10:08:30 PM »
Peeve: books that have their own language for everything.  You can't have just a sister, oh, no... you must have "the sister who loves me best" or Niguena. And Niguenet means "sister who almost loves as much as the sister who loves me the most". And the friend who protects you all of the time  is the Bisinger.  And the friend who might protect you almost all of the time is the Bisingeru.

And the breeze from the East is the Rumik.  The breeze from the South is is the Rumin.

And so on and so forth to the point I set the book down and find one that I can read without checking the back to see what that title/weird new word actually means.
"I feel sarcasm is the lowest form of wit." "It is so low, in fact, that Miss Manners feels sure you would not want to resort to it yourself, even in your own defense. We do not believe in retaliatory rudeness." Judith Martin

Pen^2

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Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
« Reply #1585 on: December 28, 2013, 10:52:26 PM »
Peeve: books that have their own language for everything.  You can't have just a sister, oh, no... you must have "the sister who loves me best" or Niguena. And Niguenet means "sister who almost loves as much as the sister who loves me the most". And the friend who protects you all of the time  is the Bisinger.  And the friend who might protect you almost all of the time is the Bisingeru.

And the breeze from the East is the Rumik.  The breeze from the South is is the Rumin.

And so on and so forth to the point I set the book down and find one that I can read without checking the back to see what that title/weird new word actually means.

Asimov wrote a fantastic rant about how this is not only unnecessary (inventing one's own language for these kinds of little things instead of just the few, if any, absolutely required terms), but is cheap and indicative of a writer who is too busy trying to sound cool and imaginative instead of putting in the minute effort required to use clear language (you know, that chief skill required of a writer). Of course, he also wrote five kazillion other things, so I can't find it.

I just finished The Odyssey. The last chapter is horrible. I should have stopped at the penultimate one, as it was a much better ending. The writing is rushed, there's suddenly a lot less attention to detail and character, and the abrupt deus ex machina ending is ridiculous. They literally solve it in half a sentence. "...And then the goddess took the form of someone they knew and trusted, and sorted the whole thing out. THE END."

I can totally get behind why people think the last chapter wasn't written by the same author as the rest, or was edited massively by someone else. It's awful. I honestly wish I hadn't read it; it's rather spoilt the rest of the otherwise fabulous story.

Golden Phoenix

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Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
« Reply #1586 on: December 29, 2013, 12:09:28 AM »
I used to be a huge fan of Colin Forbes, but his books seemed to deteriorate into the realms of "the publisher wants this tomorrow and i'm only halfway through" and I stopped reading.

The worst example I can provide was of a novel I no longer even remember the name of. The plot at this point revolved around a load of illegal immigrants turning up at some random location in Britain and our group of lead characters observing this from a distance. Suddenly, and for no reason I could identify, the lead character developed a particularly nasty dose of flu, had to be helped home, helped into his pyjamas and insisted his notebook be left on his bedstand....after that the story resumed two weeks later.

I was just...it was jarring, totally unneeded, a simple "two weeks later Tweed and Marler were looking over the case files when..."

I don't remember any more of the book.

He also tries too hard to prove he's not being sexist which can be equally as annoying as blatant sexism, he's determined to write a strong female character who shrugs off the help f the menfolk, it can seem a bit drilled into your head.

Oh, POD to mary-sue characters btw, i abandoned a book after a few chapters onve after reading about a girl who was being hunted down for no specified reason, had to flee home, survived some horrible events, was found by an important family from nearby and taken in by them as one of their own, discovered she was the last daughter of some powerful magician or other, nearly got her adoptive family killed for being her father's daughter, chose to leave and was showered with expensive gifts before leaving.

I wasn't even half way in. Simply couldn't stomach it.

rose red

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Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
« Reply #1587 on: December 29, 2013, 09:48:22 AM »
Peeve: books that have their own language for everything.  You can't have just a sister, oh, no... you must have "the sister who loves me best" or Niguena. And Niguenet means "sister who almost loves as much as the sister who loves me the most". And the friend who protects you all of the time  is the Bisinger.  And the friend who might protect you almost all of the time is the Bisingeru.

And the breeze from the East is the Rumik.  The breeze from the South is is the Rumin.

And so on and so forth to the point I set the book down and find one that I can read without checking the back to see what that title/weird new word actually means.

This is the reason I couldn't get through even a few chapters of JR Ward's first Black Dagger book and couldn't understand all the rave reviews.

eta: On the other hand, there have been books that use made-up words natually and simply that I have no problem with the book(s).  So I really believe some writers just got the skill and some don't.
« Last Edit: December 29, 2013, 09:55:08 AM by rose red »

Pen^2

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Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
« Reply #1588 on: December 29, 2013, 10:03:50 AM »
Roald Dahl was one of those authors who made up words but used them in such a way that the reader understood what was meant without trouble. One of my favourites is when a child is asked how he is, and he replies, "I'm swishwifflingly scrumdiddlyumptious!" which in context is perfectly understandable. Similarly, some of the best science writers are those who use technical terms in context so well that you understand them effortlessly without realising they're words you've never encountered before.

Corvid

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Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
« Reply #1589 on: December 29, 2013, 10:29:58 AM »
You might enjoy this:
http://the-toast.net/2013/11/04/male-novelist-jokes/

Be sure to read the comments, too.

I did enjoy that.  What a riot!

It's not that women writers don't have their cliches and tropes too, but for some reason we're supposed to take seriously as Literature the kind of self-important, self-absorbed, self-indulgent claptrap "Male Novelist Jokes" lampoons.

I particularly enjoyed one commenter's shift of POV in response to an actual gushing article/interview with writer William Vollman (edited):

 "Vollmann asks her (the waitress) which of us is the most handsome.. [POV Shift to Walk-On Character No. 1 "Pretty Waitress" - interior monologue: Oh great. He's back. Hope they leave soon. Smile, smile, smile! The dang tip better be good. What a [word for feminine hygiene product].]

"Steak tartare arrives; when I ask him how it is, he says, "It's the next best thing to [word for sexual act]." [POV shift to Walk-On Character No. 2 "Peruvian Busboy Passing By Table" - interior monologue: Go to hell, pituco]