1. Wreybies
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    Wreybies The Ops Pops Operations Manager Staff Contest Administrator Supporter Contributor

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    When you want it to be good and it just sucks... :(

    Discussion in 'Book Discussion' started by Wreybies, Oct 16, 2013.

    I went on a little shopping spree last night and purchased two of the Booker shortlisted offerings, The Testament of Mary and The Luminaries. These I am reading to keep abreast of what's happening in literature, and frankly, to hold my own in snooty literati conversations. Neither book is what I would call my cup of tea. But these books are not the crux of my gripe...

    As I was shopping, I suddenly remembered a trilogy of books I had come across in my travels through Hinduism that are a quasi-fantasy fictionalization of the life of Shiva. The Shiva trilogy by Amish Tripathi. I had one of those oh, yeah, yeah, get these now before I forget again moments and bought all three with childish excitement.

    Three pages into the first book and I want to rip the ebook format into a .txt and fix it. This trilogy is touted as the best selling set of books of it's kind across the length and breadth of India. And yes, I checked, a best-seller to be sure. But Vishnu on a pony with a bad leg, the writing is godawful. I'm trying to read through it, to get to the story, but it's like running through sawgrass and trying to see how pretty it is, never mind your shredded legs.
     
  2. Motley
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    Motley Active Member

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    I don't pay attention to critiques or "must read" lists or anything like that, so if something sucks, it just sucks, not lets me down. No expectations probably leads to less disappointment.
     
  3. Darrell Standing
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    Darrell Standing Member

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    That's kind of the way i feel about my own writing...I want it to be good but it just sucks lol
     
  4. erebh
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    erebh Contributing Member Contributor

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    A bit like Moyes :(
     
  5. Darrell Standing
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    Darrell Standing Member

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    lol yeah and MU fans mate....:(
     
  6. erebh
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    erebh Contributing Member Contributor

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    There's nothing like hype to bring down a good anything.
     
  7. art
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    art Contributing Member Contributor

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    Read Pulitzer prize winner Cormac McCarthy they said.
    You'll love him they said. Start anywhere. They're all good they said.

    And so I started with The Road and found that it was so dull I couldn't finish it.
     
  8. Darrell Standing
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    Darrell Standing Member

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    It's ver y early in the season yet...I still think MU will bounce back...still the best team in the land!
     
  9. TessaT
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    TessaT Contributing Member

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    I find this a lot in so-called best seller lists. For the Shiva trilogy, is it translated? Perhaps the translation is simply horrible but the original version was a lot better? Maybe?
     
  10. Wreybies
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    Wreybies The Ops Pops Operations Manager Staff Contest Administrator Supporter Contributor

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    LOL :) That may be the attitude I need to take. Translation work is how I make my living. Yes. Good books, shitty translator!

    Cuz', dang, I bought all three at a slap, so... o_O
     
  11. thirdwind
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    thirdwind Contributing Member Contest Administrator Reviewer Contributor

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    Or better yet, learn the language. You already know 5 languages, don't you Wrey? I'm sure learning another one can't be too hard. ;)
     
  12. TessaT
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    TessaT Contributing Member

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    Can you just... return them? I have to admit, I've done this only once. When the customer service rep asked me what was wrong with it, I replied that it was so horrible I wanted to rip my eyes out. She let me return them. lol. I just wish I could remember what the book was now.
     
  13. Wreybies
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    Wreybies The Ops Pops Operations Manager Staff Contest Administrator Supporter Contributor

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    Maybe? But I don't think so. Amazon Kindle store. Not a big enough deal for me to go find out, though. :p
     
  14. Darrell Standing
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    Darrell Standing Member

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    Ah well Wrey, books are always nice to have...as objects even if you don't like what's between the covers :)
     
  15. Wreybies
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    Wreybies The Ops Pops Operations Manager Staff Contest Administrator Supporter Contributor

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    Nope. Kindle store! What I have are three .mobi files. Real books in English are hard to come by where I live. I'm a Kindle boy now. ;)
     
  16. Darrell Standing
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    Darrell Standing Member

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    Oh :/... do u prefer the electronic or the quaint ol paper booky wook, by the way?
     
  17. Wreybies
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    Wreybies The Ops Pops Operations Manager Staff Contest Administrator Supporter Contributor

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    Never was one to make a fetish of physical books. I come from a military family and I joined the military myself right after high school, so the better part of my life thus far has been regularly punctuated by moving from one base to another, one country to another. Books are heavy when in abundance. They cost a goodly bit to ship. Had Kindle been around when I was a kid, I'd've had one right quick. ;)
     
  18. Darrell Standing
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    Darrell Standing Member

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    cool... ah i just love the feel of a book too much to convert to e readers ;)
     
  19. A.M.P.
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    A.M.P. People Buy My Books for the Bio Photo Supporter Contributor

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    Don't trust bestsellers, it's just a count of total sales in a single week and then branded by the Times.
    It could simply be dumb luck, good marketing, or the cosmos coming into alignment.
    Generally, it's the same authors back and forth as they release a new title as they are well known.
    New authors shouldn't be taken seriously if they appear on it until you read actual reviews or a sample.
     
  20. Michael Timothy
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    Michael Timothy Member

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    I had this happen a few months ago. I read this book by Clive Barker called The Great and Secret Show. It was the first I'd ever read by him. After that, I found out it was the first part of an as-yet unfinished trilogy. So I bought the second book, Everville, as well as another, Weaveworld, a standalone novel with completely different characters, but a similar universe. Having just read the first book I wanted to dive right in to the second. It became and still is one of my favourite books. But the other book? I just couldn't get into it.

    Maybe it's just a case of high, or different, expectations. I still respect Barker enough as an author for what he's done with the Books of the Art series so far, the unfinished trilogy that I read, to go back and give that one another shot now that all expectations have worn off.
     
  21. Wreybies
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    Wreybies The Ops Pops Operations Manager Staff Contest Administrator Supporter Contributor

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    I've read Sacrament and his Imajica diptych. His "worlds within worlds" trope is a common theme of his. I actually really dig him. His crossing lines between science fiction and spiritual fantasy speaks to me. Also the fact that his books always have diverse characters. He never forgets his LGBT roots but doesn't smash it in you face either... usually. :)

    A book that took me three false starts was Mieville's Perdido Street Station. On the forth try, it stuck. Don't know why it took so many tries. I can't get enough of him now, though the last of the Bas Lag novels, Iron Council, was a real slog. Too. Much. Politics. o_O
     
  22. Michael Timothy
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    Michael Timothy Member

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    That's what I like about Clive Barker, as well. He has a wild imagination but he controls it very well and builds rich worlds. I'm straight myself, but the LGBT content of Everville never bothered me. As I said, it's one of my favourite books.
     
  23. Wreybies
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    Wreybies The Ops Pops Operations Manager Staff Contest Administrator Supporter Contributor

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    That's cool. :) I do bat for the other team, and I have to say, I think that may have been part of what happened with my purchase that turned out to be less than great. The writing may be subpar, but the covers were... enticing. :oops:
     
  24. Michael Timothy
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    Michael Timothy Member

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    I can see how that would appeal to you, then. Knowing the sorts of things I've eyed in the bookstore, I can't say I blame you. :p
     
  25. KaTrian
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    KaTrian A foolish little beast. Staff Supporter Contributor

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    I bought all the Song of Ice and Fire novels that had been published at that point (the Dance of Dragons was the last I think), 'cause they were dirt-cheap and everyone was like "you gotta read this best fantasy series ever, it's so gritty, omg, I'm gonna write my Master's Thesis about it!!1"

    So I did, and I tried, and I tried, and bile rose to my throat 'cause things were so cheesy in the wrong possible way when it comes to my personal taste of cheesiness, and it was boring to boot. Major page skippage happened.

    I have a nagging suspicion once you're an established writer, you've broken to the scene so to speak with a thoroughly polished novel, some authors just stop trying and churn out something that will sell because they're famous enough anyway, or they can engage in some masturbatory drivel they themselves find interesting or funny, and people will still buy it.

    Not Martin, as such, the SOAF is critically acclaimed, well-crafted, etc., but there are some others...
     

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