Author Topic: Reading/Book Pet Peeves  (Read 254126 times)

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zyrs

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Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
« Reply #1680 on: February 25, 2014, 12:31:37 AM »

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

Agreed

Margo

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Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
« Reply #1681 on: February 25, 2014, 07:14:08 AM »
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.

I think that the books had done well enough by the time the contracts were signed for the films that JK Rowling was in a position to negotiate more involvement than is usual for an author. I don't think they usually get any input at all, even if they are very well known and successful.

(I saw Joanne Harris speak recently. She talked a little about the casting for 'Chocolat' and mentioned that (a) she didn't have any input and (b) Johnny Depp isn't her type! She mentioned that she had said that in an interview when the film was being made (not being very famialir with dealing with the press at that time in her career) and that when she met Johnny Depp for the first time, at the premier , the first thing he said to her was "So, Joanne, I understand I'm not your type..?" although I got the impression it was very good humoured on both sides!)

Redwing

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Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
« Reply #1682 on: February 25, 2014, 11:14:23 AM »

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

Agreed

Add me to that.  Molly Ringwald was nothing like Frannie was in the book.  I don't think Frannie walked around with that pop-eyed look all the time.

pierrotlunaire0

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Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
« Reply #1683 on: February 25, 2014, 04:05:12 PM »

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

Agreed

Add me to that.  Molly Ringwald was nothing like Frannie was in the book.  I don't think Frannie walked around with that pop-eyed look all the time.
Not only that, but Frannie was strong.  Not just physically either.  She had an incredible unbreakable character, and I have always thought of Molly Ringwald as anything but that.
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shhh its me

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Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
« Reply #1684 on: February 25, 2014, 04:30:44 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.

I can live with either comic miscommunication or really well set up/reasoned miscommunication. 

Cherry91

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Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
« Reply #1685 on: February 25, 2014, 04:38:18 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.

I can live with either comic miscommunication or really well set up/reasoned miscommunication.

If it's done right, the "miscommunication because you both think you're talking about something entirely different" version can be a riot

Elfmama

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Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
« Reply #1686 on: February 25, 2014, 06:48:12 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.

I can live with either comic miscommunication or really well set up/reasoned miscommunication.

If it's done right, the "miscommunication because you both think you're talking about something entirely different" version can be a riot
Especially if your characters come from different cultures.  Consider: in Adam's culture, you eat what your host offers you.  ALL of it, because to do anything else is a vile insult.  In Betty's culture, you offer your guest food until they indicate that they have had enough.  Can you imagine what happens when Adam is Betty's dinner guest?
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Piratelvr1121

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Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
« Reply #1687 on: February 25, 2014, 07:09:41 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.

I think that the books had done well enough by the time the contracts were signed for the films that JK Rowling was in a position to negotiate more involvement than is usual for an author. I don't think they usually get any input at all, even if they are very well known and successful.

(I saw Joanne Harris speak recently. She talked a little about the casting for 'Chocolat' and mentioned that (a) she didn't have any input and (b) Johnny Depp isn't her type! She mentioned that she had said that in an interview when the film was being made (not being very famialir with dealing with the press at that time in her career) and that when she met Johnny Depp for the first time, at the premier , the first thing he said to her was "So, Joanne, I understand I'm not your type..?" although I got the impression it was very good humoured on both sides!)

I can imagine, having heard how he is, he's even said he doesn't think he's attractive.  That and having read "Chocolat" the description of the character Roux doesn't resemble Johnny at all.  The character in the book also wasn't Irish, I don't think but it was Johnny's choice to use an Irish accent.  Which definitely worked for me! LOL!

As for J.K. Rowling, I do know that she had Alan Rickman in mind for Snape, but I hadn't really heard much about the other characters.

Incidentally I read something from the guy who writes the Percy Jackson series, it was a Q&A thing on his site.  He doesn't answer fan mail for one thing so he just answers questions on his website that he gets asked a lot and one of them was asking how much input he gets on the casting of the movies based on his books.  He said he doesn't think an author should have input, that it's like a former owner of a house telling the new owner what kind of wallpaper to put up, or something along those lines.
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VorFemme

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Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
« Reply #1688 on: February 25, 2014, 07:17:21 PM »
The miscommunication on the screen can be funny.  In real live...not so much.

When your husband asks you three different ways three times what is in a plastic container and you keep telling him the same thing...because he has assumed that you are still answering the FIRST question, not the changed question #2 or #3....it gets downright annoying.

Close approximation of the conversation last night....

What did you put in this?


Cheese biscuits (we'd been to Red Lobster Sunday).

What's in it NOW?

Cheese biscuits.  (They were wrapped in a napkin & you couldn't see them)

I thought you were going to eat those - I mean what is in there NOW?

The two leftover cheese biscuits from the other day (confused look on face)

Oh - THE cheese biscuits!  (And he ate them while I fixed dinner.)

After 38 years of marriage, there are times when I still don't understand him.  Or possibly he's loosing his hearing....I haven't been able to talk him into a hearing test because he claims that I am either mumbling or not listening to his question.
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dirtyweasel

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Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
« Reply #1689 on: February 25, 2014, 07:17:37 PM »
This has probably already been mentioned, but I've been reading the fourth book in A Song of Ice and Fire (Game of Thrones) series and I have to say it's driving me absolutely bonkers how overly descriptive George R.R. Martin is getting.  Example:

"His legs bestrode the gap, one foot planted on each mountain, his shoulders looming tall above the jagged crests.  His legs were carved of solid stone, the same black granite as the sea monts on which he stood, though around his hips he wore an armored skirt of greenish bronze.  His breastplate was bronze as well, and his head in his crested halfhelm.  His blowing hair was made of hempen ropes dyed green, and huge fires burned in the caves that were his eyes.  One hand rested atop the ridge to his left, bronze fingers coiled about a knob of stone; the other thrust up in to the air, clasping the hilt of a broken sword." 

He's talking about a statue...

I get that authors want to set the scene, but this is getting to be too much as the series goes on as it distracts from the story line.  He ends up describing so much stuff that I forget what's happening in the scene.  I'm not sure if it's because he has too much artistic control over his books now or if he needs to fire his copy editor.
 



Yarnspinner

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Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
« Reply #1690 on: February 25, 2014, 08:13:43 PM »

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

Agreed


Doubleplusagree.

Can I add here that as much as I loved the film version of The Stand, there were things that made me want to scream...beginning with the notion that not one single woman in the whole book had ever heard of blue jeans and sneakers.  Frannie and Harold show up riding motorscooters (as described in the book), but she is wearing a mini skirt and boots as I recall.  All the men seemed to know how to dress for cross country treks....but even when they are cleaning up Boulder, the women were in skirts and high heels.  Sorry, even June Cleaver would have put on a pair of slacks and sneaks.

Yarnspinner

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Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
« Reply #1691 on: February 25, 2014, 08:39:39 PM »
Why do literary novels that win "prestigious" awards have to be so blasted dry, dull and depressing?  My solitary book club member only comes to meetings when we read the books she wants to be read...and she only wants to read the novels that win BIG literary awards because "you are forced to think and change your perspective."

We have read two of them so far.  One of them made me wonder if it wasn't the author's suicide note in disguise.  It had it all: not a single likeable character.  A protagonist who should have been beaten to a pulp on page two.  Dogs, both gentle and feral, that will soon suffer the same fates as Savage Sam and Old Yeller.  The message that every bad thing that happens is because of Western European civilization.  And a plot that was one-darned-thing-after-another.  The writing was gorgeous, but it didn't make up for a plot that, far from making me think instead caused me to wonder if maybe the culture in question was better off when the bad guys where in control.  What goes around comes around to the wrong people is not an inspiring message.

Now we are reading the latest award winner.  I don't want to step on literary toes, but the book is 890 pages and while, once again, the writing is lovely, it reminds me of my grandfather telling a story that would go thusly:  "So Mac and Ed--you know Ed, his wife was Elsa who broke her leg during the big flood of 1938...that was when the church floated off and wound up down in Town B where the mass murder took place when......" and pretty soon, you are miles away from Mac and Ed and don't remember--or care--who they are when you get back to them. 

The writing has been compared to Dickens and other Victorian contemporaries.  However, when Dickens told a story, he didn't feel the need to flatten all the characters under his vocabulary or expect his audience to make enlightened observations between his events and the astrological events going on at the time.  I can't make heads or tails of it, who is someone to trust, who isn't and, quite honestly, don't get what any of this plot over here has to do with that plot over there.

I'd rather watch "Koyanisquaatsi"  and I HATED that flick with every fiber of my soul.

Next month we are reading Little Women.  It didn't win any awards that I know of, but several people said they would like to come to the club if we read more approachable fiction and all of them mentioned Alcott.

So there.

artk2002

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Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
« Reply #1692 on: February 25, 2014, 11:27:53 PM »
Why do literary novels that win "prestigious" awards have to be so blasted dry, dull and depressing?  My solitary book club member only comes to meetings when we read the books she wants to be read...and she only wants to read the novels that win BIG literary awards because "you are forced to think and change your perspective."

There's a general assumption that if something isn't dry and depressing, then it isn't "serious" and therefore isn't worthwhile. My sons' school has a big, big problem with this. The older sister of one of their friends wrote her college essay "In Defense of Happy Endings" because she was so frustrated. My younger son has been writing essays in a similar vein. They had to read not one, but two novels by Toni Morrison in English this year. There's nothing like infanticide in the first chapter to really liven up your read.

One of the librarians was complaining to me that for summer reading, a kid's committee had picked Divergent (soon to be a major moving picture.) Even that wasn't serious enough for them, despite being entirely relevant to the lives of teenagers. I didn't tell her that my younger son was a driving force on that committee. The committee picked Hitchiker's Guide for last summer and there was a lot of griping from the English department that they couldn't figure out how to teach it. For some reason, they couldn't manage to find any character development, or indeed any characterization in the book at all. I'm not an English teacher and I could have found something to teach from that book -- how about the use of the absurd in satire? Why is Arthur Dent a good foil for Zaphod? Compare the satire of Adams' work with that of Swift, or of Lewis Carrol -- how is satire different in the 21st century from the 18th or 19th century? In fact, a whole compare-and-contrast between Alice, Dent and Gulliver would be great.

The last faculty-picked summer reading was The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks, which has a fascinating subject, but turns out to be far more about the author than about Henrietta Lacks. It should have been titled My Journey to Find Myself and What I Found About Henrietta Lacks On The Way. But it was serious and therefore good.
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zyrs

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Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
« Reply #1693 on: February 26, 2014, 03:41:31 AM »

  "So Mac and Ed--you know Ed, his wife was Elsa who broke her leg during the big flood of 1938...that was when the church floated off and wound up down in Town B where the mass murder took place when......"


I know people who talk like this in real life and it drives me crazy, I don't want to have to read it.

iridaceae

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Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
« Reply #1694 on: February 26, 2014, 03:56:56 AM »

Now we are reading the latest award winner.  I don't want to step on literary toes, but the book is 890 pages and while, once again, the writing is lovely, it reminds me of my grandfather telling a story that would go thusly:  "So Mac and Ed--you know Ed, his wife was Elsa who broke her leg during the big flood of 1938...that was when the church floated off and wound up down in Town B where the mass murder took place when......" and pretty soon, you are miles away from Mac and Ed and don't remember--or care--who they are when you get back to them.



Sounds like some author idolizes Harry Stephen Keeler,  who wrote insanely long mysteries with convoluted plots. Extremely convoluted plots.