Author Topic: Difficult Books  (Read 400 times)

Davin

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Re: Difficult Books
« Reply #15 on: October 18, 2016, 09:06:00 AM »
I like the story in the Song of Ice and Fire series by George R. R. Martin, but I find his style of writing to be extremely difficult to trudge through, it's like listening to someone with dementia teach history. But I liked the story, so I was able to force myself through the first three books. They were difficult.

While I don't consider his books to be difficult to get through (maybe except for the third, which is the most boring of the series IMO), I wouldn't call his style of writing good either. It isn't among the worst but it isn't excellent. Also, the sheer number of characters doesn't help, I felt lost on more than one occasion. I am still a fan though, perhaps mostly due to the HBO series.
I don't like reading, so I'm overly picky about the style of the writing.If I feel like they repeat the same thing but saying it in a different way, I tend to dislike it. Like The Shannara series by Terry Brooks. I like his writing and I like the first 2 books I read... but then by the third book, it just seemed like the same story over again. Like all he did was "find and replace" the people, places and things. So I recommend reading at least one of the books from that series, but I don't think it matters which one.

And the book I'm reading right now is tough to get through... but I have a thing where I have to finish what I start unless it becomes way to difficult. I've found myself asking the book, "Really?" and giving loud sighs of exasperation, because the main character is too prepared, almost completely invincible, has everything, needs nothing, none of his plans have been foiled even slightly... and it's not even a Jack Reacher book. There's no feeling of danger, no actual drama, no character development, and since all the plans work exactly as planned, I get to read what happens twice in a row. But I'm dumb, so I'm going to finish it. It will be the 41st book I've read this year. I've Read through my queue and added some, so I'll probably cut down on my reading a bit after this year.

Always question all authorities because the authority you don't question is the most dangerous... except me, never question me.

xSilverPhinx

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Re: Difficult Books
« Reply #16 on: October 18, 2016, 11:16:34 AM »
I like the story in the Song of Ice and Fire series by George R. R. Martin, but I find his style of writing to be extremely difficult to trudge through, it's like listening to someone with dementia teach history. But I liked the story, so I was able to force myself through the first three books. They were difficult.

While I don't consider his books to be difficult to get through (maybe except for the third, which is the most boring of the series IMO), I wouldn't call his style of writing good either. It isn't among the worst but it isn't excellent. Also, the sheer number of characters doesn't help, I felt lost on more than one occasion. I am still a fan though, perhaps mostly due to the HBO series.
I don't like reading, so I'm overly picky about the style of the writing.If I feel like they repeat the same thing but saying it in a different way, I tend to dislike it. Like The Shannara series by Terry Brooks. I like his writing and I like the first 2 books I read... but then by the third book, it just seemed like the same story over again. Like all he did was "find and replace" the people, places and things. So I recommend reading at least one of the books from that series, but I don't think it matters which one.

Reminds me of Joseph Campbell's the Hero's Journey. If you've never heard of it before, basically it's about the hero's trajectory being the same story with different "clothes" in different hero myths:

"In narratology and comparative mythology, the monomyth, or the hero's journey, is the common template of a broad category of tales that involve a hero who goes on an adventure, and in a decisive crisis wins a victory, and then comes home changed or transformed."

Quote
And the book I'm reading right now is tough to get through... but I have a thing where I have to finish what I start unless it becomes way to difficult. I've found myself asking the book, "Really?" and giving loud sighs of exasperation, because the main character is too prepared, almost completely invincible, has everything, needs nothing, none of his plans have been foiled even slightly... and it's not even a Jack Reacher book. There's no feeling of danger, no actual drama, no character development, and since all the plans work exactly as planned, I get to read what happens twice in a row. But I'm dumb, so I'm going to finish it. It will be the 41st book I've read this year. I've Read through my queue and added some, so I'll probably cut down on my reading a bit after this year.

Sounds awful, which book is it? ;D
I'm just a student of the game that they taught me.


Davin

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Re: Difficult Books
« Reply #17 on: October 18, 2016, 11:58:02 AM »
I like the story in the Song of Ice and Fire series by George R. R. Martin, but I find his style of writing to be extremely difficult to trudge through, it's like listening to someone with dementia teach history. But I liked the story, so I was able to force myself through the first three books. They were difficult.

While I don't consider his books to be difficult to get through (maybe except for the third, which is the most boring of the series IMO), I wouldn't call his style of writing good either. It isn't among the worst but it isn't excellent. Also, the sheer number of characters doesn't help, I felt lost on more than one occasion. I am still a fan though, perhaps mostly due to the HBO series.
I don't like reading, so I'm overly picky about the style of the writing.If I feel like they repeat the same thing but saying it in a different way, I tend to dislike it. Like The Shannara series by Terry Brooks. I like his writing and I like the first 2 books I read... but then by the third book, it just seemed like the same story over again. Like all he did was "find and replace" the people, places and things. So I recommend reading at least one of the books from that series, but I don't think it matters which one.

Reminds me of Joseph Campbell's the Hero's Journey. If you've never heard of it before, basically it's about the hero's trajectory being the same story with different "clothes" in different hero myths:

"In narratology and comparative mythology, the monomyth, or the hero's journey, is the common template of a broad category of tales that involve a hero who goes on an adventure, and in a decisive crisis wins a victory, and then comes home changed or transformed."
Oh yeah, I read a bit about that. I occasionally attempt to write things (I have a few published short stories and a really shitty rough draft of a novel with a story that contains many of the things I complain about), and read up a lot on writing theory. I'm fine with that stuff being guidelines, but strictly following them tends to annoy me when I read/watch the stories. The funny thing is, sometimes writers that I talk with will sometimes quote advice from a successful author, and then act like it's an unbreakable rule, when the author her/himself breaks it several times per book.

Quote from: xSilverPhinx
Quote
And the book I'm reading right now is tough to get through... but I have a thing where I have to finish what I start unless it becomes way to difficult. I've found myself asking the book, "Really?" and giving loud sighs of exasperation, because the main character is too prepared, almost completely invincible, has everything, needs nothing, none of his plans have been foiled even slightly... and it's not even a Jack Reacher book. There's no feeling of danger, no actual drama, no character development, and since all the plans work exactly as planned, I get to read what happens twice in a row. But I'm dumb, so I'm going to finish it. It will be the 41st book I've read this year. I've Read through my queue and added some, so I'll probably cut down on my reading a bit after this year.

Sounds awful, which book is it? ;D

Chemical Burn by Quincy J. Allen.

It was published in part by Kevin J. Anderson, who had a few books I remember liking (and some I remember not liking), and the person said that if I like Kevin J. Anderson and a rough gritty noir story, then I'd like this book. Well, I do like some of Kevin J. Anderson's writing, and I do really like gritty noir stories, but this book is not gritty or noir. It's like if someone took a noir story, and all the places where protagonist fails, he instead succeeds. And instead of having untrustworthy friends, he has friends that not only can be completely trusted with secrets, but they also never fail. There is one part where one of his friends calls up the main character saying he's in trouble, and the protagonist rushes out to help. Now this is one point where sighed out loud expecting it to turn from a possible failure to a success. Then it turned out that he had not failed, but instead succeeded and the "trouble" was just about how he was going to carry all the money home. So gritty and sooooo noir. Right.

Well, I think I've let out enough of of my steam on that book, only 15% more to go then I'm tossing the book in the trash.

Always question all authorities because the authority you don't question is the most dangerous... except me, never question me.

xSilverPhinx

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Re: Difficult Books
« Reply #18 on: October 18, 2016, 02:00:19 PM »
I like the story in the Song of Ice and Fire series by George R. R. Martin, but I find his style of writing to be extremely difficult to trudge through, it's like listening to someone with dementia teach history. But I liked the story, so I was able to force myself through the first three books. They were difficult.

While I don't consider his books to be difficult to get through (maybe except for the third, which is the most boring of the series IMO), I wouldn't call his style of writing good either. It isn't among the worst but it isn't excellent. Also, the sheer number of characters doesn't help, I felt lost on more than one occasion. I am still a fan though, perhaps mostly due to the HBO series.
I don't like reading, so I'm overly picky about the style of the writing.If I feel like they repeat the same thing but saying it in a different way, I tend to dislike it. Like The Shannara series by Terry Brooks. I like his writing and I like the first 2 books I read... but then by the third book, it just seemed like the same story over again. Like all he did was "find and replace" the people, places and things. So I recommend reading at least one of the books from that series, but I don't think it matters which one.

Reminds me of Joseph Campbell's the Hero's Journey. If you've never heard of it before, basically it's about the hero's trajectory being the same story with different "clothes" in different hero myths:

"In narratology and comparative mythology, the monomyth, or the hero's journey, is the common template of a broad category of tales that involve a hero who goes on an adventure, and in a decisive crisis wins a victory, and then comes home changed or transformed."
Oh yeah, I read a bit about that. I occasionally attempt to write things (I have a few published short stories and a really shitty rough draft of a novel with a story that contains many of the things I complain about), and read up a lot on writing theory. I'm fine with that stuff being guidelines, but strictly following them tends to annoy me when I read/watch the stories. The funny thing is, sometimes writers that I talk with will sometimes quote advice from a successful author, and then act like it's an unbreakable rule, when the author her/himself breaks it several times per book.

There shouldn't be unbreakable rules in creative pursuits, that just makes the whole thing boringly formulaic.

 
Quote from: xSilverPhinx
Quote
Quote
And the book I'm reading right now is tough to get through... but I have a thing where I have to finish what I start unless it becomes way to difficult. I've found myself asking the book, "Really?" and giving loud sighs of exasperation, because the main character is too prepared, almost completely invincible, has everything, needs nothing, none of his plans have been foiled even slightly... and it's not even a Jack Reacher book. There's no feeling of danger, no actual drama, no character development, and since all the plans work exactly as planned, I get to read what happens twice in a row. But I'm dumb, so I'm going to finish it. It will be the 41st book I've read this year. I've Read through my queue and added some, so I'll probably cut down on my reading a bit after this year.

Sounds awful, which book is it? ;D

Chemical Burn by Quincy J. Allen.

It was published in part by Kevin J. Anderson, who had a few books I remember liking (and some I remember not liking), and the person said that if I like Kevin J. Anderson and a rough gritty noir story, then I'd like this book. Well, I do like some of Kevin J. Anderson's writing, and I do really like gritty noir stories, but this book is not gritty or noir. It's like if someone took a noir story, and all the places where protagonist fails, he instead succeeds. And instead of having untrustworthy friends, he has friends that not only can be completely trusted with secrets, but they also never fail. There is one part where one of his friends calls up the main character saying he's in trouble, and the protagonist rushes out to help. Now this is one point where sighed out loud expecting it to turn from a possible failure to a success. Then it turned out that he had not failed, but instead succeeded and the "trouble" was just about how he was going to carry all the money home. So gritty and sooooo noir. Right.

Well, I think I've let out enough of of my steam on that book, only 15% more to go then I'm tossing the book in the trash.

:P Best of luck.
I'm just a student of the game that they taught me.


Essie Mae

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Re: Difficult Books
« Reply #19 on: October 19, 2016, 04:33:06 PM »
I'm reading 'Little Red Chairs' by Iris Murdoch and I didn't expect the graphic scenes of torture. The part I am reading now gives a vivid picture of what contemporary life is like for London's underclass. Although very readable, those parts are difficult and they have made me think that I am rather complacent and very, very lucky.
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Icarus

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Re: Difficult Books
« Reply #20 on: October 19, 2016, 09:26:56 PM »
Perhaps your book, Essie, is similar to the one that I just finished.  My book is titled Hillbilly Elegy; by J.D. Vance. It is a biography about a legitimate Appalachian hillbilly, who by sheer chance, exceeded his heritage by a long shot. He is a graduate of Yale Law School.  The most important feature of the book is that he explains some of the sociology and psychology of the less privileged and why they do not/can not manage to raise themselves above their assigned position in the cultural pecking orders.  I see it as an immensely important little book that would benefit society if only everyone read and understood what the book told us.

hermes2015

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Re: Difficult Books
« Reply #21 on: October 20, 2016, 12:09:41 AM »
Some time in the early seventies I felt compelled to read John Barth's Giles Goat-Boy. I guess it was internal pressure fuelled by my pseudo-intellectual pretensions that drove me to read every single word. I kept blaming my own stupidity for not enjoying or even understanding the book, but years later I felt vindicated when I read that Gore Vidal had reacted similarly to it.

Essie Mae

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Re: Difficult Books
« Reply #22 on: October 20, 2016, 02:59:56 PM »
Perhaps your book, Essie, is similar to the one that I just finished.  My book is titled Hillbilly Elegy; by J.D. Vance. It is a biography about a legitimate Appalachian hillbilly, who by sheer chance, exceeded his heritage by a long shot. He is a graduate of Yale Law School.  The most important feature of the book is that he explains some of the sociology and psychology of the less privileged and why they do not/can not manage to raise themselves above their assigned position in the cultural pecking orders.  I see it as an immensely important little book that would benefit society if only everyone read and understood what the book told us.

I can see there might be similarities and why you think it's an important read. I've put it on the Kindle wish-list.
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Dragonia

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Re: Difficult Books
« Reply #23 on: February 18, 2017, 08:42:16 PM »
Quote
But I have to finish, so I can find out what the point of the book is.

Dragonia, that's either dedication or sheer bloody minded stubborness!

 ;)
After months of repeated dedication, I have finally finished this book.(The Fifth Gospel) Glad I stuck it out, because the end was pretty intriguing and thought-provoking. A little something for every religious persuasion in there, and the author obviously did an insane amount of research deep into many different subjects to get this novel together. I have a lot of respect for that. It was worth my stubbornness! ;D
Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle. ~ Plato (?)