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Things in books that annoy you

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20 hours ago, itsmeagain said:

It was bookmonkey who saw it, not me, Booknutt. 

Oops sorry! It's also annoying when something is read wrongly, isn't it?

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9 hours ago, bookmonkey said:

No, they were in English, just not grammatically correct.

 

Sorry about the gaff - you both look so alike! 😊

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On 3/24/2017 at 12:54 PM, bookmonkey said:

Unnecessary romance, especially in crime novels.  It seems to be really common in US crime that the main character falls for the woman very quickly.  It's the main reason I stopped reading the Dan Brown books after the second one; Robert Langdon didn't seem to be able to do anything without falling for a woman within the first few pages.

 

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I do not like very unlikely coincidences in books, which are used to push the plot along. For instance, I thought it was very weak in Jane Eyre when she left Thornfield Hall in a random direction, was set down when her fare ran out, wandered around the countryside for a couple of days and then ended up at her cousins' door. If there had been some reason for her going towards a certain place, like the town name had a familar ring to it, that would have been better. I thought The Way We Live Now by Anthony Trollope was fairly realistic, except the plot depended on two characters not knowing each other, but known to someone else, independently going to live in the same house in London.

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Yep I must admit when I re-read JE about 18 months ago I found the St John Rivers thing a rather unconvincing coincidence, and rather a clumsy plot device.

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On 1/25/2018 at 10:00 AM, Madeleine said:

Yep I must admit when I re-read JE about 18 months ago I found the St John Rivers thing a rather unconvincing coincidence, and rather a clumsy plot device.

I agree, but still love the book. 

 

One of my major gripes is when an author is afraid of allowing the main character to be anything but perfect. I much rather read about complex people who make mistakes.

 

Another one is when an author doesn't know when to end a story. The book The Orphan's Tale is way guilty of that. I want to leave the characters at a natural stopping point and then imagine for myself where they go from there.

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It's a very small thing to most people I suspect, but it jumps out of a page every time for me: the inappropriate use of 'myself' especially when used as the subject of a sentence.  It should NEVER be used like that.  (Drives me mad when people use it in speech too, but that's sort of forgiveable as there's no chance to review one's speech).

 

I get annoyed at errors of obviously sloppy research.  Thus, in I Am Pilgrim (just finished), the absolute final straw for me, after a string of errors, was when a key plot point centred around a 'king' low tide in the Mediterranean.  There's effectively no such thing (tides are measured in centimetres in the Med) -  sheer laziness.  If you're going to use a location, make sure you know it!

 

I also hate amazing coincidences.  Yes, they can happen in life, but a plot turning on them is, for me, just ludicrous, especially when they 'save' the hero (they're most common in thrillers, which is one reason why I read so few of these). Occasionally, one can get away with one, especially if the fact that it is a coincidence is important, but absolutely no more! 

 

Edited by willoyd

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Yes a perfect character can be grating!  Also when an author is obviously hopelessly in love with a character, Anne Rice is one who springs to mind.  And endless description, or waffling on about feelings can get tedious too.

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When a book is turned into a film and they have to change a whole part of the storyline because it is always set in the USA. For example Holly from Ps I Love You is Irish but for the film she is American. Becky from Shopaholic Series is English but for the film she is American. 

 

 

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3 hours ago, Lau_Lou said:

When a book is turned into a film and they have to change a whole part of the storyline because it is always set in the USA. For example Holly from Ps I Love You is Irish but for the film she is American. Becky from Shopaholic Series is English but for the film she is American.

 

@Lau_Lou I totally agree! I really didn't like how they 'Americanised' the film of Confessions of a Shopaholic. I would've much preferred if it had been set in the UK, just like the book was and if Becky had a UK accent rather than American.

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On 15/06/2018 at 4:01 PM, Athena said:

 

@Lau_Lou I totally agree! I really didn't like how they 'Americanised' the film of Confessions of a Shopaholic. I would've much preferred if it had been set in the UK, just like the book was and if Becky had a UK accent rather than American.

I am thinking how would they do the move the USA if she was already an American in the film version. 

 

I seem to notice in a lot of books that the male love interest is usually always over a certain height and has a body like he goes to the gym all the time but never does. 

 

I read a book last year and one of the characters (minor) was named Jodie and in one paragraph she was called Josie. So I reread it to see if it was another character that hadn't been introduced in the story but no it was meant to say Jodie but of course nobody noticed the mistake. 

 

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Another thing I don't like is when detective fiction piles it on too thick. For example, there's a spree of seemingly unrelated disappearances. It turns out the killer is a taxidermist who's a Shakespeare nut. He's trying to stuff a person to represent each character from a scene in a Shakespeare play. So if there's an Earl of Sussex in the play he murders someone from Sussex. If King Edward III's in the play, he kills a boy called Edward whose father and grandfather are both called Edward. Meanwhile, it turns out the village postmistress is Herman Göring's secret love child, and she is killing fellow members of the parish council she does not like by giving them tea boiled with heavy water from a secret vat her father bequeathed her. Meanwhile, it turns out the gruff detective used to be a woman before she transitioned. She was raped as a girl and the resulting child was put up for adoption. Now the child has grown up and is progressing up the ranks of most notorious organised crime syndicate in the country.

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14 hours ago, KEV67 said:

 

Another thing I don't like is when detective fiction piles it on too thick. For example, there's a spree of seemingly unrelated disappearances. It turns out the killer is a taxidermist who's a Shakespeare nut. He's trying to stuff a person to represent each character from a scene in a Shakespeare play. So if there's an Earl of Sussex in the play he murders someone from Sussex. If King Edward III's in the play, he kills a boy called Edward whose father and grandfather are both called Edward. Meanwhile, it turns out the village postmistress is Herman Göring's secret love child, and she is killing fellow members of the parish council she does not like by giving them tea boiled with heavy water from a secret vat her father bequeathed her. Meanwhile, it turns out the gruff detective used to be a woman before she transitioned. She was raped as a girl and the resulting child was put up for adoption. Now the child has grown up and is progressing up the ranks of most notorious organised crime syndicate in the country.

 

 

Sounds like an episode of Lewis...

 

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Miss Marple with her endless discovery of solicitor Davies living in a house 1 mile away who clearly recalls Mrs Foss... Etc etc until each story ends in the same way..... 

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The biggest thing I can think of that annoys me is when a book is set in the past and the author shoehorns random historical facts in, despite the fact that they have no relation to the story. It makes me feel like they’re trying far too hard to convince us they’ve done their research! 
 

On 08/06/2021 at 11:09 PM, KEV67 said:

Another thing I don't like is when detective fiction piles it on too thick. For example, there's a spree of seemingly unrelated disappearances. It turns out the killer is a taxidermist who's a Shakespeare nut. He's trying to stuff a person to represent each character from a scene in a Shakespeare play. So if there's an Earl of Sussex in the play he murders someone from Sussex. If King Edward III's in the play, he kills a boy called Edward whose father and grandfather are both called Edward. Meanwhile, it turns out the village postmistress is Herman Göring's secret love child, and she is killing fellow members of the parish council she does not like by giving them tea boiled with heavy water from a secret vat her father bequeathed her. Meanwhile, it turns out the gruff detective used to be a woman before she transitioned. She was raped as a girl and the resulting child was put up for adoption. Now the child has grown up and is progressing up the ranks of most notorious organised crime syndicate in the country.


Also this, unless it’s meant to be funny and then it’s fine :lol:.

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On 27/01/2018 at 11:29 AM, willoyd said:

It's a very small thing to most people I suspect, but it jumps out of a page every time for me: the inappropriate use of 'myself' especially when used as the subject of a sentence.  It should NEVER be used like that.  (Drives me mad when people use it in speech too, but that's sort of forgiveable as there's no chance to review one's speech).

 

I get annoyed at errors of obviously sloppy research.  Thus, in I Am Pilgrim (just finished), the absolute final straw for me, after a string of errors, was when a key plot point centred around a 'king' low tide in the Mediterranean.  There's effectively no such thing (tides are measured in centimetres in the Med) -  sheer laziness.  If you're going to use a location, make sure you know it!

 

I also hate amazing coincidences.  Yes, they can happen in life, but a plot turning on them is, for me, just ludicrous, especially when they 'save' the hero (they're most common in thrillers, which is one reason why I read so few of these). Occasionally, one can get away with one, especially if the fact that it is a coincidence is important, but absolutely no more! 

 

Hi Willoyd. This use of myself. Can you say exactly what that use is? Thanks. 

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17 hours ago, itsmeagain said:

Miss Marple with her endless discovery of solicitor Davies living in a house 1 mile away who clearly recalls Mrs Foss... Etc etc until each story ends in the same way..... 

 

Lol, I love Miss Marple. I think it's the little country village setting that I enjoy. I just suspend belief when I read these kinds of books  :lol:

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I cannot enjoy anything of Agatha Christies for this reason in itself! I understand why the fans love the works, but they fail for me,as so much relies on coincidence, and repeats itself throughout the work. I read a lot of her books when I was much younger,and liked them for what  they were, simple whodunnits with no deep psychological twists and turns; that is now exactly what puts me off them. A self created world, where everyone knows their place, and the surprises, really do not surprise me anymore. Each to their own, if you enjoy them, you have a large volume of work to read at your leisure.

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11 hours ago, poppy said:

 

Lol, I love Miss Marple. I think it's the little country village setting that I enjoy. I just suspend belief when I read these kinds of books  :lol:

I actually am drawn back time after time, to the way England was in the early 20th c. Miss Marple and her wondrous old fashioned ways draw me back despite the frustrations mentioned. 

Edited by itsmeagain

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11 hours ago, timebug said:

I cannot enjoy anything of Agatha Christies for this reason in itself! I understand why the fans love the works, but they fail for me,as so much relies on coincidence, and repeats itself throughout the work. I read a lot of her books when I was much younger,and liked them for what  they were, simple whodunnits with no deep psychological twists and turns; that is now exactly what puts me off them. A self created world, where everyone knows their place, and the surprises, really do not surprise me anymore. Each to their own, if you enjoy them, you have a large volume of work to read at your leisure.

I do feel a similar way but I like Agatha despite that. 

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Robotic narrators (especially in first person narratives).

 

I get that a narrator with too much personality or with too many opinions can alienate or annoy readers but it seems so ubiquitous in writing. I read so few books where people actually sound like real people. That being said, I get why they do it and often enjoy the books regardless. The narrator of Norwegian Wood was very blank but I loved the book. Atwood's female characters are always utterly devoid of opinion (though I get they're often deliberately voiceless women). But anyway...

 

 

Edited by Hux

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5 hours ago, itsmeagain said:

I actually am drawn back time after time, to the way England was in the early 20th c. Miss Marple and her wondrous old fashioned ways draw me back despite the frustrations mentioned. 

 

I'm sure it wasn't all idyllic at all, but I get more nostalgic for simpler times the older I get.

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18 hours ago, poppy said:

 

I'm sure it wasn't all idyllic at all, but I get more nostalgic for simpler times the older I get.

Me too. 

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