I’ve been writing about this issue quite a bit on this blog, mostly because I’ve been disappointed by a number of the books I’ve picked up recently. My own concern is whether I’m being too curmudgeonly, since the books I can’t make it through often seem to have many fans. Here, I posted about the value of voice for smoothing over glitches that would otherwise stop me. And here, just recently, about a plot device in mysteries and thrillers that made me quit in the final chapters.
Others include what I call “illogic“: people who just don’t act like normal people or events that couldn’t happen because the author needs characters to behave bizarrely or the world to reorganize itself to make the plot work out. Hate that!
And not too long ago I stopped reading a book where everybody was so terminally nice that even when conflict reared its leonine head, everybody smiled and and gave it a gentle hug.
Finally, when I read a scene I could have written myself based on the hundred+ times I’ve already seen that exact scene or read that dialogue (e.g., “I want to be there for you”), I have a hard time pressing on.
Am I being too persnickety? I’m eternally grateful for books that surprise me, even if only just a little, with a view of the world I couldn’t get anywhere else.
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