Friday, September 10, 2010

Books I didn't finish and why

Oddly enough, I had already decided to write this post when I found a very similar post over on The Book Smugglers published just a few days ago.

Anyway, until fairly recently I never put down a book I'd started reading. I made myself finish no matter how much I hated it, probably because I was an English major and often had to read books for class that I didn't like.

But now, I need to read a lot to keep new content up on Skunk Cat Book Reviews. If a book doesn't hold my interest, I'll usually set it aside and pick up another one.

Here are a few books I've set aside recently.

Tigerheart by Peter David
This one started out very good, but it went downhill fast. By the almost-halfway point I hated it so much I intended to finish it so I could eviscerate it in a review, but I just couldn't make myself keep going once the small boy main character started mouthing the author's philosophical ideas at tedious length. The Little Prince this isn't. It is, however, plodding and dull.

For the Win by Cory Doctorow
I loved Little Brother and was very excited about this book. I was really disappointed with it (and annoyed that I'd spent all that money on a hardback). I got about 1/3 of the way in and found it so depressing and disjointed that I set it aside. It has so many viewpoint characters that by the time the book cycled back around to one, I'd forgotten who he/she was or what had been going on with him/her.

Skinwalker by Faith Hunter
First of all, I do not for one second believe that Faith Hunter is the author's real name. I also suspect the author is a man. Nothing else would explain why the female main character thinks and acts like a man--this is a classic "man with boobs" characterfail. I don't care about motorcycles, guns, or vampires with retractable fangs, so obviously this book is not for me.

What do I do with books I don't finish? Three words: used book store. So I can get new books.


Fox Lee said...

Oh man...I hope my lack of penis doesn't show when I write gay erotica! ; )

K.C. Shaw said...

You're too good a writer for that to be an issue. :)

Paula RC said...

What great reviews! Maybe we need more of these sorts of reviews to improve the standard of some books which hit the bookshops. Maybe if more bloggers wrote about why they didn't like a book as much as they write about what they do like, it would make for an interesting read for new writers like myself.

I found your posting very helpful to understand more about not have too many points of view, K.C

God luck with your writing

Angela Carlie said...

Thanks for this post! There are so many books that disappoint me and that I don't finish. I've never given the effort to blog about them, though.

Thanks for the heads-up:)

Cate Gardner said...

I never struggle with a book I don't like. It goes straight in the donation pile.

K.C. Shaw said...

Jarmara--Too many points of view is one of my pet peeves. I prefer one or maybe two, but that's probably just me.

Angela--Of course YMMV, as they say. The writing in all three was pretty good, it was just the content that I didn't like.

Cate--I've read so many books I didn't like. I'm glad I don't feel compelled to do so anymore.

Aaron Polson said...

I'm pretty heartless with books that don't do it for me. The library has been awfully friendly of late...

K.C. Shaw said...

I think I own more books than our tiny local library. I miss living in Knoxville just because its library system is so great.

Danielle Birch said...

I used to force myself to finish books I wasn't into but now I put them aside. Time is too precious and I'd rather be reading something I enjoy.

K.C. Shaw said...

Absolutely. Too many books, not enough time.

Unknown said...

hello stranger! :)

I've still yet to finish The Passage by Cronin. It's not that I don't like it so far, its just that it hasn't really grabbed me yet. I've yet to get really involved with it and its been almost a hundred pages.