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.