Author Topic: What makes you stop reading a book?  (Read 9988 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Thipu1

  • Super Hero!
  • ****
  • Posts: 6650
Re: What makes you stop reading a book?
« Reply #90 on: April 06, 2014, 02:16:51 PM »
Quote
However, I must say that one of the Gordius books had possibly one of the best opening sentences in literature.
Which one? I think I've read the whole series but don't recall a particularly memorable opening sentence.

Quote
Later on, Saylor became odd.  You do not turn around and make a character we've grown to know and love in several books suddenly become the murderer.  That soured the whole series for me. 
Which book do you mean? You don't have to tell me the character, but I'd like to know the book.

I don't remember the name of the book but the opening line was, 'Pompey will be mightily pissed.' That has to provoke a laugh.

I don't want to introduce spoilers but he did this in several books. 

artk2002

  • Super Hero!
  • ****
  • Posts: 12806
    • The Delian's Commonwealth
Re: What makes you stop reading a book?
« Reply #91 on: April 06, 2014, 03:19:48 PM »
I also liked the Falco books.  The language might not have been absolutely proper for Latin but Davis was making Falco and his world at least partly familiar to modern readers.  In my opinion, she did an excellent job. Even my mother enjoyed them. 

On the other hand, we have Steven Saylor's Gordius the Finder books.  The first few were based on actual orations delivered by Cicero in criminal cases. They were inventive and interesting. 

Later on, Saylor became odd.  You do not turn around and make a character we've grown to know and love in several books suddenly become the murderer.  That soured the whole series for me. 

However, I must say that one of the Gordius books had possibly one of the best opening sentences in literature.

I absolutely agree on the Falco books. Davis is an excellent historian (read her semi-fictional bio of Vespasian's mistress.)

I didn't like the Saylor books from the very first. Davis introduces historical information without belaboring the point. Saylor couldn't introduce a fasces without beating you over the head with it. It just seemed so forced.
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

happygrrl

  • Happy Girlie OI OI OI
  • Hero Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 2803
Re: What makes you stop reading a book?
« Reply #92 on: April 06, 2014, 03:36:08 PM »
1. Violence towards animals (1984 was an exception)
2. Too violent
3. Factual errors (but I watch Reign::))

All of these, but the first in particular (I stopped watching a TV series becasue of the first one). And I will admit that I watch Reign also.   ;D
"I am the laziest person on Earth. I want to learn to photosynthesize so I can buy a sun lamp and survive without getting out of bed."  M-theory 11/23/10

TootsNYC

  • A Pillar of the Forum
  • *****
  • Posts: 30473
Re: What makes you stop reading a book?
« Reply #93 on: April 06, 2014, 07:42:21 PM »
Fluffy "plots" with no real conflict.

Boy meets girl. They immediately fall in love - no hurdles to overcome. One of them is usually an orphan, or from an abusive family. The other usually has a large, doting family, consisting of loving parents, siblings, and numerous first cousins. All of whom are ensconced in their own happy relationships. The Big Loving Family accepts the Orphan Partner with open arms. Pages are devoted to the characters' pleasant and fun interactions with each other.

Boy and girl get married in an incredibly romantic and touching wedding ceremony. They find out they are expecting their first child. Cue tears of joy from everyone. The baby is born. More pages are devoted to the main characters' awe and happiness over being parents. The story then ends with the couple expecting baby number two (or three, or four, if it's a particularly long story).

I find those "plots" incredibly boring and unrealistic, and quickly switch off.

Actually, I find them pretty realistic.

But they're very boring.

LifeOnPluto

  • Super Hero!
  • ****
  • Posts: 6499
    • Blog
Re: What makes you stop reading a book?
« Reply #94 on: April 06, 2014, 11:13:47 PM »
Fluffy "plots" with no real conflict.

Boy meets girl. They immediately fall in love - no hurdles to overcome. One of them is usually an orphan, or from an abusive family. The other usually has a large, doting family, consisting of loving parents, siblings, and numerous first cousins. All of whom are ensconced in their own happy relationships. The Big Loving Family accepts the Orphan Partner with open arms. Pages are devoted to the characters' pleasant and fun interactions with each other.

Boy and girl get married in an incredibly romantic and touching wedding ceremony. They find out they are expecting their first child. Cue tears of joy from everyone. The baby is born. More pages are devoted to the main characters' awe and happiness over being parents. The story then ends with the couple expecting baby number two (or three, or four, if it's a particularly long story).

I find those "plots" incredibly boring and unrealistic, and quickly switch off.

Actually, I find them pretty realistic.

But they're very boring.

Fair enough. I find them unrealistic, because no relationship is ever *that* perfect. Everyone has occasional moments where they don't like their partner much, or they are feeling resentful, annoyed, and/or overwhelmed. But these characters exist in a perpetual state where they are blissfully in love, and life is wonderful ALL the time. No arguments over who stays home with the baby. No real concerns over finances (or lack thereof). Not even any petty bickering over whose turn it is to wash the dishes!

But I agree 100% that they are very boring.

TotterGirl

  • Member
  • **
  • Posts: 199
Re: What makes you stop reading a book?
« Reply #95 on: April 07, 2014, 01:36:59 AM »
As at least one other mentioned, getting things wrong about the real places I know.  For heaven's sake, Santa Fe is NOT walking from Albuquerque!

Another biggie for me is stupid characters. I quit reading Diane Mott Davidson because the resolution to the mystery always seemed to depend on the main character doing something incredibly stupid!

There are also the usual, don't care about the characters, plot not going anywhere (Jules Verne's "Journey to the Center of the Earth" just about killed me, but I finished it. The man was brilliant, but a storyteller he ain't!), and so on.

One of the big ones for me though is, particularly in romances, mistaking being hot in the knickers for "True Love" ::) and thinking it will last forever.  Give me a break.
« Last Edit: April 07, 2014, 11:53:19 PM by TotterGirl »

Harriet Jones

  • Super Hero!
  • ****
  • Posts: 6588
  • Yes, we know who you are.
Re: What makes you stop reading a book?
« Reply #96 on: April 07, 2014, 07:42:30 AM »
Another biggie for me is stupid characters. I quit reading Diane Mott Davidson because the resolution to the mystery always seemed to depend on the main character doing something incredibly stupid!

ITA about the Diane Mott Davidson books.  The main character's gotten a lot more Mary Sue-ish, which is a big turnoff.

I've stopped reading books from a particular author because they've gotten too same-y.

Thipu1

  • Super Hero!
  • ****
  • Posts: 6650
Re: What makes you stop reading a book?
« Reply #97 on: April 07, 2014, 08:35:44 AM »
Mary Higgins Clark.  I enjoyed her first book or two but, after a while you could almost predict that X will happen on page 42 and Y will happen on page 96. 

Winterlight

  • On the internet, no one can tell you're a dog- arf.
  • Super Hero!
  • ****
  • Posts: 9735
Re: What makes you stop reading a book?
« Reply #98 on: April 07, 2014, 10:39:57 AM »
That's what made me give up Nora Roberts, Thipu. There weren't so much plot twists as a very well-worn path.
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

Outdoor Girl

  • Super Hero!
  • ****
  • Posts: 13648
Re: What makes you stop reading a book?
« Reply #99 on: April 07, 2014, 10:44:08 AM »
That's what made me give up Nora Roberts, Thipu. There weren't so much plot twists as a very well-worn path.

I've stopped reading Nora Roberts because of the number of male characters that smoke and are portrayed as being sexy because they smoke.  It's not every book but it's enough of them that I don't want to risk buying a book I'm going to toss across the room.
I have CDO.  It is like OCD but with the letters in alphabetical order, as they should be.
Ontario

Ms_Cellany

  • The Queen of Squee
  • Super Hero!
  • ****
  • Posts: 5711
  • Big white goggie? No. Hasn't seen him.
Re: What makes you stop reading a book?
« Reply #100 on: April 07, 2014, 10:49:06 AM »
Kathleen Woodiwiss.  It took three books for me to notice that the heroine ALWAYS gets kidnapped in the antepenultimate chapter.
Current fosters: Boojum (F, adult); Zuul (F); Magpie (M); Balrog (M); Nazgul (F)

Dindrane

  • Super Hero!
  • ****
  • Posts: 15347
Re: What makes you stop reading a book?
« Reply #101 on: April 07, 2014, 10:55:48 AM »
That's what made me give up Nora Roberts, Thipu. There weren't so much plot twists as a very well-worn path.

I've stopped reading Nora Roberts because of the number of male characters that smoke and are portrayed as being sexy because they smoke.  It's not every book but it's enough of them that I don't want to risk buying a book I'm going to toss across the room.

I've read a lot of Nora Roberts books (and like probably the majority of what I've read), and I've noticed that her books written before maybe the mid- to late-90s sometimes feature people smoking because it's cool and sexy (or just because they do), though it's still not uncommon in books written at that time to have someone who just gave up smoking or never smoked. Her books published after that point, however, pretty overwhelmingly feature people who have quit smoking because it's bad for them, if smoking as a habit even comes up (which it increasingly doesn't).

I also tend not to read Nora Roberts books for the plots. She does have two very distinct types of books, though: one kind has a plot that is at least partially external to the characters (i.e. there's some sort of mystery or villain or something), and another kind has a plot that is entirely internal to the characters (i.e. emotional/relationship issues that have to be resolved). They do get very predictable after awhile, but I find myself reading Nora Roberts books over and over again because I really enjoy her characters. And often, I enjoy the specific way she gets to those very predictable places.


rose red

  • Super Hero!
  • ****
  • Posts: 7537
Re: What makes you stop reading a book?
« Reply #102 on: April 07, 2014, 11:01:51 AM »
I'm tired of picking up a book (say, a romance) thinking it's about two people meeting, fall in love, life happens. Or a book thinking it's about school adventures and friendship...only to have villains, murder, and mystery thrown in.  If I want to read a mystery, I'll go to the mystery section.

twoferrets

  • Jr. Member
  • *
  • Posts: 57
Re: What makes you stop reading a book?
« Reply #103 on: April 07, 2014, 11:07:08 AM »
When there is a twist that seems sneaky rather than entertaining-- something that changes a book I thought I liked into something I never would have picked up, had I known.  I was once more or less enjoying a fantasy novel with interesting characters, some intriguing world-building including religion, which is something I love exploring in fictional universes  ("Green" by Jay Lake if anyone's interested)... and suddenly, furries.  Cat people.  NO.

On the flip side, Sherri S. Tepper's "Beauty" has an abrupt flip some ways into the book, and though it threw me the first time I read it, it became and remains one of my favorite books.  But I'm sure some people would hate that book as much as I ended up hating "Green."

Violence against animals will kill a book for me.  If it's a favorite author (Stephen King's "The Dead Zone" comes to mind) I will skip the relevant pages.  And I had a major problem reading "The Once and Future King" for a class once-- a previous attempt ended when I couldn't get past a certain passage which you will know if you've read the book (I don't want to think about it!).

Dindrane

  • Super Hero!
  • ****
  • Posts: 15347
Re: What makes you stop reading a book?
« Reply #104 on: April 07, 2014, 11:12:54 AM »
I also just wanted to add, re: romance novel plots in general. They do tend to be predictable (because the genre dictates that there be a happy-ever-after kind of ending, and that the books be focused on relationship issues at least in part). I, in fact, read so many of them in part because I like that predictability. But I do find that there is an enormous difference between books focused primarily on relationship issues that get resolved in a sort of consistent way, and books focused primarily on relationship issues that only exist because of a contrived set of circumstances or get resolved in a way that is extremely contrived.

Using Nora Roberts as an example, I find that most of her characters' reluctance to trust each other (which is generally the source of the relationship conflict) is realistic enough to not jar me out of the plot. Basically, it ends up being people dealing with realistic, relatable issues because of past experiences or because of their personalities. They spend most of the book actively doing things that will allow them to resolve those issues, and when they fight about them, it's generally in a way that allows you to see both sides of the argument and maintain sympathy with both characters. When they resolve them, it's usually because of realistic, relatable series of events that genuinely address the struggles they were having. And sometimes, they don't resolve them in the sense that the issues go away completely, so much as resolve them to the point where both characters can live with them long-term.

I've read a lot of other romance novels that really, really do not do that. One author that comes to mind is Stephanie Laurens, since I've read a lot of her books. On some levels, I find them entertaining, but her characters aren't awesome, her plots are highly predictable, and a lot of the books have somewhat contrived conflicts. I can't read more than one or two at a time before I have to read other things, because they are just too much like each other. In her attempt to make Regency-era heroines relatable to modern readers, she also makes them highly unrealistic (as characters in general, and as people living in that time period). In trying to introduce conflict into the basic Regency-era plot, she puts up very unrealistic barriers to resolving the romantic relationships. For example, more than one book has featured characters who don't have any particular reason to object to marriage, but strenuously object to it anyway. Resolving that particular conflict requires that they be convinced, often with very intimate liaisons that are outright encouraged by people whose behavior would more realistically consist of doing everything in their power to prevent such liaisons. And, of course, once the conflict is resolved, it never shows up in any fashion ever again (you know this because she writes a lot of series where past main characters become secondary characters).