6/7/11

And Yet I Complain Again

Barely twenty five pages into a book and, I’VE HAD ENOUGH.  Short of chucking the book across the room and denting my wall, I have to stop reading this book or I’m going to kill someone.  I’m all for snarky characters.  I think snarky can actually make a book.  But when snarky turns into a self-monologue and the story is the background, I get thoroughly annoyed. 

Don’t get me wrong, I love me some good standup comedy but not in a book, so get to the story already! Or worse, I start to get into the story and BAM! two pages of banter that has NOTHING to do with the story.  Just the author’s look-at-me-I-can-be-funny glory pages.  I can’t stomach that.

Examples, in my opinion, of the appropriate amount of wit and/or banter would be Kiersten White’s Paranormalcy.  Evie has witty little sprinklings of salt, giving it just the right flavor without ruining it.  (You’ve over salted your food before right? It leaves a bad taste in your mouth, literally) Or Jace from The Immortal Instruments series, punchy lines at just the right moment.  Sure there a more examples, but those are the two that pop into my brain right off the bat. 

But this book I WAS reading (before I set it on fire and did a burn-baby-burn tribal dance around the flames) had so much wit/snark/banter to the point I found myself asking, what the heck is this story about?  One line the author actually repeated two pages later and the Antagonist pointed it out to the MC and the character actually said “Well it was even funnier the second time.”  O_o  I was like “Seriously? Oh no he didn’t. Did the author just pat himself on the back?”  And honestly, the first time the line was delivered, it was…okay.

As a writer, who actually desires to be published, I must refrain from doing bad book reviews.  Sure the censorship sucks but my career is more important than expressing, or in this case venting, my opinion.  Plus I didn’t, nor will I ever, finish reading this book so I couldn’t give more than a “The first 25 pages sucked” book review.

So what is your snarky tolerance level?  Or what [fill in the blank] aspect of a book drives you to the point of murder when it is overplayed?

4 comments :

  1. I'm with you. And I love the over salting your food analogy. Very spot on. I haven't read the Mortal Instruments series yet (I have the books, just need to read them!), but I loved Paranormalcy, and Evie had just the right amount of wit--we got a great feel for her personality, but she didn't have to constantly prove herself to be the comedian.

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  2. "Prove herself to be the comedian" is exactly my point! Drives me crazy when an author feels the need to do that. THanks for commenting.

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  3. I remember a book that had the protagonist deciding to get back with the man she loved and when she went to the barn to tell him, she found he'd hung himself. I was so mad I threw it across the room. Bad novel!

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  4. Shock factor, that's all that author was trying to do Kathi. Hung himself?!? That sucks! Had to be a romance novel.

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