Friday, February 17, 2012

Its all behind me

I finished THAT book and am so glad to have it behind me. I prefer to not even revisit it and simply look ahead to the relaxing, entertaining, engaging, indulgence of a Stephen King read. It's my goal reward to for not giving up on THAT book.

Another thing that's behind me is my daughter's childhood!! She turned 18 today. I don't think there is one thing about her childhood that went as I would have ideally liked it. Poor to start out, divorce under dangerous circumstance, a disappearing father, then cancer? I think this kid has paid her dues Mr. Karma... pre-paid even.

I'd like to see the rest of her life go far far better. Actually I pray for that every day for her and her sister.

Monday, February 13, 2012

nearly done with a book I don't care for

As I continue to sludge through this chunkster, Pillars of the Earth... I thought about reason number 2 why I would not like a book. Good writing, Awful subject.

For me I think The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo fit into this bracket. He sure had it right with the original Swedish title of Men Who Hate Women!!  But it is not alone. Pillars certainly falls into the unnecessary perversion niche. And it TOTALLY annoys me. But at least Larsson could write! At least I enjoyed the English version, I assume it was as well done in it's native tongue.  I am not really a fan a violence for entertainment.

Please be aware that it is the 'for entertainment' judgment that makes the difference. There are difficult books out there that are also important pieces, books like Speak and The Book Thief, or A Boy Called It (although I couldn't read that one either but not because I thought it was a 'bad' book) And I'm totally turned off by man's inhumanity to man. give me aliens, ghosts, ghouls, yes even the occasional vampire before lengthy titillation filled descriptions of sexual brutality - weather it has a resolution in the end or not!

I'm simply tired of it. And I think it's usually a hack way to sell books. Everyone wants the next most shocking. Not me. I believe what I surround myself with and dedicate my time to influences who I am and I simply do not want to get that jaded and desensitized to the world and how we behave in it. I want to look for more. Other books that fit in there are Stephanie Meyer books, not just Twilight but also The Host where the female protag stoically endured and justified being hit. (not cool Steph, not cool.) and even Gerald's Game by my favorite author-dude EVER hit this note sour.

That being said, there is such a thing as the overly sweet, dripping with oblivious dialog and un-engaged characters...but perhaps that will be for another post.

That and the prevalence of the mediocre.

But then... there's always the guilty pleasure. A book I shouldn't like based on these criteria....but I can't help it, I do! Maybe in a couple weeks I'll get to that post. (i'm looking forward to writing it big time!)

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

sludgin through a chunkster

So I'm less than halfway through my second book of the year and I"m finding I don't like it much. Which makes me think on what makes a book good or bad for me...I like thinking on this as it takes my mind off what I'm currently reading.

There are a couple of things I've recently identified as the kiss of death for a piece....

Number one on the list:
Really really bad writing. A good book with the sentence structure of a 5th grader. For instance:
"She looked much older, she was much older, of course." really? really? It's like the author realized by saying 'she looked much older' he had written a totally inane sentence since he had just told us it had been years since they saw each other. Instead of taking that awful conglomeration out or re-phrasing, he just rambled on and told us of course she looked much older. (and used it as an awful excuse to recite their ages which was even worse but I wont get in to it).

And my next favorite annoyance is:
awful vocabulary, as in:
"what are you sorry for, you turd?"
This coming from a book set in the 12th century. I'm not sure this would pass. Perhaps, but it still sounds like a 5th grade bully.

Ah and then there's trite writing. ie: Breaking the literary rule of show don't tell.
"Tom enjoyed building the wall." How do we know? Because you TOLD us!

 Worse still simply trite:
"He went off hot and bothered." does anyone really say that? OK does anyone really say that in seriousness and not teasing someone.

So yes,  a good premise can be DESTROYED by lame writing. And that's the world I'm stuck in at the moment.  So quit you say? I certainly can not at this point. It would hurt my feelings too much to have to say, 'No I gave up on that book'. Because no matter my reasoning or logic behind leaving it behind, someone would always think I was either not smart enough to follow it or intimidated by it's 900 page length. And I'd rather finish it and intelligently discuss my distaste than have to admit quitting.

But that's just me and I certainly can not wait to get to my next read...although I have yet to choose it.

More on what lands a book on my anti-literature shelf in my next post. Like decent writing and awful topics.