Disillusionment With Many Books

Discussion in 'Reading & Writing' started by Jim Nash, Jan 18, 2020.

  1. Jim Nash

    Jim Nash Well-Known Member
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    I find writers are padding books out to four hundred pages and more, then concluding in the last few pages. It is good to graphically describe a scene but four pages on walking down the street is boring.
    Another complaint is long alternative words for effect. This breaks the continuity by having to check the dictionary only to find, lasciviousness is lust. Does anybody share my views?
     
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  2. Thomas Stearn

    Thomas Stearn Very Well-Known Member
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    I wouldn't say I'm disillusioned probably because I don't have any illusions or expectations. I take things as they are knowing that there are writers who think that a novel with fewer than 700 pages can't be a good one.
    Acknowledging that, however, does not mean that I follow their thoughts and descriptions down to the smallest detail or to the last synonym. They may lose me as a reader if I lose interest and then I simply skip certain passages which I don't consider important or which I don't enjoy reading.
    The last two novels I read were 1020 and 750 pages long, respectively. One of them had long explications of mathematical equations and computations which were way beyond me. So I skated over them as I usually do with any pasages that I consider irrelevant.
     
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  3. Lois Winters

    Lois Winters Very Well-Known Member
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    I agree with Jim, to the extent that many authors are guilty of being sesquipedalian (unnecessary use of big words). I usually don't have a problem with reading same myself as I studied classic English and English Literature, but the average person is put off by same. If one is involved in academia, that's all well and good, but we are not Bill Buckley's out here. Time and again I have been cautioned, keep it short and simple. Excellent advice.
     
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  4. Beth Gallagher

    Beth Gallagher Veteran Member
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    I'm a voracious reader but I don't suffer through books that I don't enjoy. After giving it several chapters if it hasn't pulled me in, I just move on to another. Some writing styles are annoying; I don't waste my time on them. Character development and a good storyline are the important things to me.

    After many years, I am currently re-reading A Tree Grows in Brooklyn. Sometimes reading an old favorite is like meeting up with an old friend.
     
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  5. Mary Robi

    Mary Robi Very Well-Known Member
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    I've found that most books over 600 pages could definitely be condensed to 400 pages or even 300. Stephen King is one of the biggest offenders...….great stories but man, does he like to hear himself talk!

    Another thing that annoys me (and throws me "off") is mention of product names constantly. i.e., she can't just put on her shoes, pick up her purse, grab a water and drive away in her car.....it's "she slipped into her Manolo Blahniks, draped her Kate Spade wristlet over her arm, grabbed a bottle of Evian Sport water and drove off in her Range Rover XTR33YzP.

    I'm not a professional writer (I've had exactly two stories published that I was paid for, and I received $57 for the two of them......didn't put me on the bestseller list and frankly I'd be embarrassed to admit where the stories appeared) but I do believe I recognize good writing when I see it.
     
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  6. Ed Wilson

    Ed Wilson Well-Known Member
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    I have not read fiction in many years and stick to non-fiction. If I'm spending time to read I may as well learn something. Currently I'm reading up on the British Empire looking for connections to the current state of affairs in the Middle East. After getting a few good grades for compositions at school I fancied that I had some kind of talent. I got some info on how to submit a story and sent something in to an outdoor magazine. Got it back in a month rejected. I re-read what I wrote. BARF! It seemed like gold a month ago.
     
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  7. Jim Nash

    Jim Nash Well-Known Member
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    I agree Ed, factual writing appeals even it is just His Story. Just read Fredrick Forsyth's Outsider, which proves fact can be more intriguing and exiting than fiction. As far as having a go yourself. Most of us considered our first attempt as a masterpiece, especially when family are in awe of a family genius. Many thousand pages later, subjected to professional scrutiny makes you appreciate the skills of real writers.
     
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  8. Bill Boggs

    Bill Boggs Veteran Member
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    I'm not reading that much variety anymore. I've read most of Larry McMurtry and I am finishing up
    the books I have not read. Some of his are lackluster, others in my opinion, a fine read, but we all
    like different stuff.
     
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  9. Beth Gallagher

    Beth Gallagher Veteran Member
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    Terms of Endearment is one of my all time favorite books, and I loved the movie made from it.
     
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  10. Bill Boggs

    Bill Boggs Veteran Member
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    Yes, I agree. I read the book, I saw the movie. He has the ability to write on several levels.
     
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  11. Beth Gallagher

    Beth Gallagher Veteran Member
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    Oddly, the follow up to that book, The Evening Star, was a disappointment in print and on the big screen. :D
     
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  12. Bill Boggs

    Bill Boggs Veteran Member
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    Yep, it was. I’m reading now ‘Dwayne’s Depressed.’ After recently, ‘When The Light Goes’ which I
    liked.
     
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  13. Beth Gallagher

    Beth Gallagher Veteran Member
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    Let me know how you like Dwayne's Depressed. I just got Stephen King's The Outsider downloaded to my Kindle. I see that it was made into a mini series on HBO and I want to read the book before I watch it. I always like to read first to see how a movie compares to my imagination about how the characters look, etc. . :D Almost without fail, the movies don't measure up to reading the story.
     
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  14. Bill Boggs

    Bill Boggs Veteran Member
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    I became interested in McMurtry because he grew up in Archer City and grew up in Wichita Falls. When he wrote
    The book, “the Last Picture Show,” and then a movie was made of it and my brother and his band was included in
    the movie, I started reading him seriously.
     
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  15. Bill Boggs

    Bill Boggs Veteran Member
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    I agree about the book being most often better. I will let you know but I’m thinking it won’t be as good as,
    “When The Light Goes.”
    A good magazine article on this Texas writer ifyou ever find yourself short of reading material:
    https://www.texasmonthly.com/the-culture/larry-mcmurtry-minor-regional-novelist/

    Or drop in the waste basket:D.
     
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