« More popular | Main | Emergency physicians heat up the pages of romance novels »

Books too bad to finish

When I start reading a book, I usually try to finish it. Ever the optimist, I'm always telling myself: "I wouldn't feed this much of the book to my dog, but maybe the author can turn it around by the end."

Some books, though, defeat me.

Wraeththu, by Storm Constantine, is one of them.  A story about a hermaphroditic post-human society, with a neat painting on the cover, this book looked good on the bookstore shelf.

But it sucked.

Another throw-it-in-the-garbage tome was Forest Mage by the previously successful author Robin Hobb.  I liked Hobb's previous series.  I even sort of liked the first book in this series.  But this book sucked.  So badly that I had to get rid of it. 

Both of these books suffer from the same unforgivable flaw.  They're boring.  Nothing happens.  And in the world of genre fiction (any fiction?) that's unforgivable.  Plot holes?  Inconsistencies?  Wooden characters?  Too bad, but at least give me some action.

PS: As I was thinking about these books, I realized one other thing (besides being boring) that these books share.  They were both written by women.  Please, tell me why this is just coincidental.  My feminist side is deeply troubled...


Hm. I have to tell you why it's coincidental?

Because it's TWO BOOKS.

If you read two bad books, the chances that they'll both be written by women is 25%. That's pretty high. And obviously, Robin Hobb's gender has nothing to do with it. You liked her other books, after all. It's not like she suddenly became female on the tenth book she delivered.

For shame. You'd never have mentioned it if both books had been written by men. Now go read that Michael Chabon I left in your apartment after I couldn't finish it.

Touche. Jonathan Franzen probably has a few new books out, too.

That'll cure me.

Post a comment

(If you haven't left a comment here before, you may need to be approved by the site owner before your comment will appear. Until then, it won't appear on the entry. Thanks for waiting.)