Author Topic: Reading/Book Pet Peeves  (Read 259638 times)

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Katana_Geldar

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Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
« Reply #1665 on: February 19, 2014, 03:11:33 AM »
In The Dresden Files series, the main character is a wizard living in Chicago who tries to avoid all the stereotypes of his occupation. He specifically mentions that he despises hats.

It's pretty obvious the illustrator of the newer editions (which have a picture of the main character) hasn't read them, because Harry Dresden is shown wearing a hat, albeit a fedora rather than a wizard's cap. The author found it funny though, so every book in that edition's print has Harry in progressively bigger hats.
There's a few jokes about thin the role playing game, which Jim Butcher had quite a but to do with. Harry and Bob write each other notes in the margins and Bob mentions something about hats, Harry said he didn't do hats and Bob said that Harry would look good in a hat.

Piratelvr1121

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Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
« Reply #1666 on: February 19, 2014, 02:47:39 PM »
The cover art reminded me of a recent one where the cover for "Anne of Green Gables" featured a modern blonde farm girl in a "come hither" pose.

So many things wrong with that! At least the movie cast her well, as I really enjoyed Megan Follows as Anne.
Beyond a wholesome discipline, be gentle with yourself. You are a child of the universe, no less than the trees and the stars.  You have a right to be here. Be cheerful, strive to be happy. -Desiderata

Jocelyn

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Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
« Reply #1667 on: February 22, 2014, 10:29:39 PM »
Yarnspinner, so you can remember, I offer you the following  Brief Poem for Straight Men:
The left ear is the right ear.
The right ear is the wrong ear.  ::)

Library Dragon

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Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
« Reply #1668 on: February 22, 2014, 11:22:19 PM »
Sometimes the publisher gives the artist a page or two of the novel to work with--so they will know, for example, that there's a scene where the hero is fighting a wyvern, but that page doesn't mention that the hero is short and red-haired, because the reader already knows that.

And sometimes the inaccuracies are deliberate: Octavia Butler's publishers kept putting obviously white characters on the covers of her books, which had black protagonists. Except once they used a green-skinned woman: someone in marketing was sure that the expected white readers wouldn't buy a science fiction book if they knew up front that the heroine was black.

If you want a bunch of YA librarians to start frothing at the mouth mention whitewashing book covers.  When I was working with teens the national organization managed to get a publisher to completely change a cover that had change races for the cover.

Here is a good explanation of the issue: http://www.yalsa.ala.org/thehub/2012/12/10/it-matters-if-youre-black-or-white-the-racism-of-ya-book-covers/

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PeterM

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Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
« Reply #1669 on: February 23, 2014, 03:53:19 PM »
I hate idiot plots, a term which Wikipedia tells me was coined by James Blish and defined as "a plot which is kept in motion solely by virtue of the fact that everybody involved is an idiot." It's bad enough in the ever so popular storylines where a series of horrible misunderstandings would be immediately cleared up if only some of these morons bothered talking to each other. At least with that type of story you can fall back on the fact that, yeah, plenty of otherwise intelligent people are complete idiots when it comes to interpersonal dealings. Then there are the horror and suspense stories where due solely to the requirements of the story up-til-now intelligent people decide to go off alone to investigate a strange noise or not tell anyone about the evidence they've collected before they confront the bad guy. Those are all extremely annoying and overdone, but you often know what to expect going into that kind of story and know you have to put your brain in neutral if you want to enjoy it.

What's worse is a well written story about intelligent characters who don't make any uncharacteristically stupid decisions until the very end of the story, after you've invested a lot of time and emotion into the fact that hey, these people aren't morons at all! I just read a book about superheroes trying to keep a group of people alive after a zombie apocalypse. They're doing fairly well against the usual mindless zombie hordes, because said hordes can't work together well enough to overwhelm the survivors' defenses. So far so good.

Then an extremely strong and tough super-zombie shows up who has the power to mentally control all the normal zombies. Using said control he can make the zombies act intelligently enough that they're clearly going to breach the walls and kill everyone inside if the super-zombie isn't immediately stopped. Interesting! Who are you going to send to fight the super-zombie in the climax? I'll make it simple and whittle it down to two choices:

A) Any of the extremely tough but still vulnerable heroes who would present the super-zombie with a fair fight that allows for long action scenes where we see the big fight while innocent people are dying every second the super-zombie is still active

or

B) The flying energy man who has been established over the course of the book as completely invulnerable to any physical damage and who could easily blast the super-zombie into its component atoms and end the threat immediately?

I understand why the author wanted to go with choice A. I do. If you're doing something like that, though, you have to put at least a little bit of thought into why supposedly intelligent people don't immediately go with plan B. Especially when one of your other characters is a super-genius level tactician.

Bah. Still a good book, though, overall.

Coruscation

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Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
« Reply #1670 on: February 23, 2014, 08:32:01 PM »
And the thing is, it's very easy to throw in a few lines, stating, for example, in the first chapter, that flying energy man must fall into a coma every ninety days and then, you know, have that 90 days come at the worst possible time for the protagonists.

Or have one of the zombies be his previously thought dead wife and he has a quick mental breakdown and flies off just before the super zombie arrives.

PeterM

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Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
« Reply #1671 on: February 24, 2014, 01:50:14 AM »
And the thing is, it's very easy to throw in a few lines, stating, for example, in the first chapter, that flying energy man must fall into a coma every ninety days and then, you know, have that 90 days come at the worst possible time for the protagonists.

He did something like that for a large part of the story. Energy guy spent the vast majority of his time powering the entire compound, so he wasn't available for routine patrols and such. Makes perfect sense. He was involved in the final battle, though, which only makes sense. Except he stayed away from the super-zombie, which really, really doesn't.

Quote
Or have one of the zombies be his previously thought dead wife and he has a quick mental breakdown and flies off just before the super zombie arrives.

He used a variation on that one on a different hero, actually. Saw it coming, but it still worked pretty well.

Hollanda

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Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
« Reply #1672 on: February 24, 2014, 09:10:47 AM »
Stories that suddenly turn into different stories. Yeah, I know about plot twists, but some of them are just plain stupid and unrealistic and it turns me off the book completely!  ::)
Knowledge is knowing tomato is a fruit.
Wisdom is not putting it in a fruit salad.


Allyson

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Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
« Reply #1673 on: February 24, 2014, 12:47:36 PM »
Ooh, and also totally unsupported plot twists! I read a series where in the last book one of the main good guys turned out to the be secretly the villain of that book...which, ok, sometimes a fine twist. But it felt like the author didn't decide that until that book and even then there was little hints of it til it was happening. It was shocking, but not in a good way...like if Ron or Hermione suddenly turned out to be working with Voldemort in book 6 with no setup.

I mean, reading the first 2 books again there was *no* indication he would be the villain and it kind of cast a pall over the whole series for me.

EMuir

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Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
« Reply #1674 on: February 24, 2014, 01:33:04 PM »
I just found a huge plot hole in a book.  I think it's self-published but is on Amazon for Kindle. I loved the writing and the characters and the story.  It built up to a climactic scene where the hero is in peril and how does he save everyone?  By just doing it.  Seriously, he was described as being held very firmly in a way he could not escape, then he just reaches out and does something with his hand.  That was being held very firmly. I read that passage several times trying to figure out what I'd missed.  Then I went to the online reviews, nobody else mentioned it.  So I looked again.  Nope.

I don't mind weird things happening to save the hero, but if you just flat out ignore the situation YOU SET UP as a writer, then I can't trust you again. Sigh.

Mikayla

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Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
« Reply #1675 on: February 24, 2014, 06:21:16 PM »
That bugs me too. In movies made from books, it can be even worse. The Age Of Innocence had a brunette heroine generally described as "slight" and a blonde statuesque antagonist. So who did they cast? Blonde Michelle Pfieffer for the heroine and fragile brunette Winona Ryder for the antagonist.

In the book Salem's lot the adult male protagonist was dark-haired, the teenaged male protagonist was dark-haired, the main vampire had a full head of hair and the vampire's assistant was bald.

In the made-for-tv movie Salem's lot, both male protagonists were blonde, the assistant had a full head of hair and the vampire was patterned after Nosferatu.  It made it much harder for me to watch it.

Just for balance, I think one of the best casting jobs ever was The Stand.  I saw it after reading the book, and everyone was pretty much as I had envisioned them.


Lynn2000

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Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
« Reply #1676 on: February 24, 2014, 06:38:30 PM »
I hate idiot plots, a term which Wikipedia tells me was coined by James Blish and defined as "a plot which is kept in motion solely by virtue of the fact that everybody involved is an idiot." It's bad enough in the ever so popular storylines where a series of horrible misunderstandings would be immediately cleared up if only some of these morons bothered talking to each other. At least with that type of story you can fall back on the fact that, yeah, plenty of otherwise intelligent people are complete idiots when it comes to interpersonal dealings. Then there are the horror and suspense stories where due solely to the requirements of the story up-til-now intelligent people decide to go off alone to investigate a strange noise or not tell anyone about the evidence they've collected before they confront the bad guy. Those are all extremely annoying and overdone, but you often know what to expect going into that kind of story and know you have to put your brain in neutral if you want to enjoy it.

I really, really dislike the misunderstanding/miscommunication plots as well. I realize some entire genres seem to have this as their basis, so other people must like them, which is cool, but they drive me a little bonkers.

That was one thing I liked a lot about Harry Potter--among the three kids, they always pooled their knowledge quickly. Granted, they kept stuff secret from adults who might have helped, but at least they didn't have wacky misunderstandings among themselves.
~Lynn2000

Morrigan

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Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
« Reply #1677 on: February 24, 2014, 09:32:16 PM »
That bugs me too. In movies made from books, it can be even worse. The Age Of Innocence had a brunette heroine generally described as "slight" and a blonde statuesque antagonist. So who did they cast? Blonde Michelle Pfieffer for the heroine and fragile brunette Winona Ryder for the antagonist.

In the book Salem's lot the adult male protagonist was dark-haired, the teenaged male protagonist was dark-haired, the main vampire had a full head of hair and the vampire's assistant was bald.

In the made-for-tv movie Salem's lot, both male protagonists were blonde, the assistant had a full head of hair and the vampire was patterned after Nosferatu.  It made it much harder for me to watch it.

Just for balance, I think one of the best casting jobs ever was The Stand.  I saw it after reading the book, and everyone was pretty much as I had envisioned them.

Except for Frannie & Harold.  Especially Harold.  Nothing like how he was described...

Piratelvr1121

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Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
« Reply #1678 on: February 24, 2014, 10:21:43 PM »
That bugs me too. In movies made from books, it can be even worse. The Age Of Innocence had a brunette heroine generally described as "slight" and a blonde statuesque antagonist. So who did they cast? Blonde Michelle Pfieffer for the heroine and fragile brunette Winona Ryder for the antagonist.

In the book Salem's lot the adult male protagonist was dark-haired, the teenaged male protagonist was dark-haired, the main vampire had a full head of hair and the vampire's assistant was bald.

In the made-for-tv movie Salem's lot, both male protagonists were blonde, the assistant had a full head of hair and the vampire was patterned after Nosferatu.  It made it much harder for me to watch it.

Just for balance, I think one of the best casting jobs ever was The Stand.  I saw it after reading the book, and everyone was pretty much as I had envisioned them.

I found the Harry Potter movies to be extremely well cast, too.  Even if the physical description didn't perfectly match up (Like with Dolores Umbridge) the acting job was still spot on and I couldn't really think of anyone that would be better.

I really liked Michael Gambon's Dumbledore best and Maggie Smith was definitely a perfect choice for McGonagall.
Beyond a wholesome discipline, be gentle with yourself. You are a child of the universe, no less than the trees and the stars.  You have a right to be here. Be cheerful, strive to be happy. -Desiderata

dawnfire

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Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
« Reply #1679 on: February 24, 2014, 11:58:12 PM »
That bugs me too. In movies made from books, it can be even worse. The Age Of Innocence had a brunette heroine generally described as "slight" and a blonde statuesque antagonist. So who did they cast? Blonde Michelle Pfieffer for the heroine and fragile brunette Winona Ryder for the antagonist.

In the book Salem's lot the adult male protagonist was dark-haired, the teenaged male protagonist was dark-haired, the main vampire had a full head of hair and the vampire's assistant was bald.

In the made-for-tv movie Salem's lot, both male protagonists were blonde, the assistant had a full head of hair and the vampire was patterned after Nosferatu.  It made it much harder for me to watch it.

Just for balance, I think one of the best casting jobs ever was The Stand.  I saw it after reading the book, and everyone was pretty much as I had envisioned them.

I found the Harry Potter movies to be extremely well cast, too.  Even if the physical description didn't perfectly match up (Like with Dolores Umbridge) the acting job was still spot on and I couldn't really think of anyone that would be better.

I really liked Michael Gambon's Dumbledore best and Maggie Smith was definitely a perfect choice for McGonagall.

apparently Maggie Smith was J.k rowling's choice for Mcgonagall.