Author Topic: ...but I don't wanna!  (Read 411 times)

munboy

...but I don't wanna!
« on: February 25, 2019, 09:52:58 AM »
As a writer, is there a book(or books) you know you should read but just don't want to?

For me, as a big fantasy nerd (and writer), it's Ursula Le Guin's Earthsea series. It's very highly regarded, especially among fantasy authors, and I even had a professor who is good friends with her....but I don't wanna! I'm not sure why I never picked it up when I was younger, but now...I think I avoid it because I'm sick of "wizard school" stories thanks to Harry Potter and the Name of the Wind series. So, now I can't make myself read it.

What about you?
 

dgcasey

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Re: ...but I don't wanna!
« Reply #1 on: February 25, 2019, 01:56:01 PM »
I started trying to read Stephen King's Dark Tower series, but got bogged down and never even finished the second book. I think I do a lot better reading his stand alone novels.
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LilyBLily

Re: ...but I don't wanna!
« Reply #2 on: February 25, 2019, 01:58:12 PM »
Still haven't gotten past page 70 of Moby-Dick.
 
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munboy

Re: ...but I don't wanna!
« Reply #3 on: February 26, 2019, 01:52:54 AM »
I started trying to read Stephen King's Dark Tower series, but got bogged down and never even finished the second book. I think I do a lot better reading his stand alone novels.

You got further than me. At some point, I put the first book down (pretty deep into it, too...I was in the last quarter of the book) and never picked it back up.

Still haven't gotten past page 70 of Moby-Dick.

I had to read it for a lit class in college, so there's that.  :hehe
 

Scrapper78

Re: ...but I don't wanna!
« Reply #4 on: February 26, 2019, 03:26:25 AM »
The Dark Tower series is a great example of an excellent writer with no story to tell. I got through the first one and thought: "This is really just a bunch of cool scenes he wanted to write, even though there is no story to tell with them." Others have told me that he "eventually" melds them all into a competent fantasy/sci-fi narrative, but I ain't interested any any more.

Moby Dick is a textbook on how to take a good hook and a great story and ruin any potential joy a reader might get from either. I'll fight anyone who says otherwise.

I write cyberpunk, and for the life of me i cannot get through William Gibson's "Neuromancer." He pretty much created my genre, and the book still bores me cross-eyed.
 

VanessaC

Re: ...but I don't wanna!
« Reply #5 on: February 26, 2019, 04:02:19 AM »
Oh, interesting thread!  I actually quite liked the Wizard of Earthsea, and have re-read the series at least once as an adult.  But, we're all different.

Probably shouldn't admit this in public, but I've never read anything by George RR Martin and have precisely zero plans to. Not read the Wheel of Time either, and again no plans to.

I don't know when, but somewhere between a being a fan of epic fantasy as a teenager and being a grumpy adult now, I just stopped reading what I would class as epic fantasy (multi-book series, each one an enormous tome).  Maybe its the hundreds of characters, too many names to keep track of.  Maybe its having read the first and second books of too many series that somehow never seemed to get finished, and weren't complete stories in their own right.
 

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dgcasey

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Re: ...but I don't wanna!
« Reply #6 on: February 26, 2019, 04:50:34 AM »
I don't know when, but somewhere between a being a fan of epic fantasy as a teenager and being a grumpy adult now, I just stopped reading what I would class as epic fantasy (multi-book series, each one an enormous tome).  Maybe its the hundreds of characters, too many names to keep track of.

I'm with you on this one. I love me some Tolkien and Brooks and Donaldson, but nowadays, I'm more into the stand alone novels. I have one more volume to write in my epic fantasy trilogy and when it's finished, I don't think I'll be doing that again. I'd rather stick to writing stand alone fantasy and horror novels. As one reviewer said, "This story is for those who have outgrown Goosebumps." If I can be half as successful as RL Stine I'll be a happy camper.
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munboy

Re: ...but I don't wanna!
« Reply #7 on: February 26, 2019, 07:48:14 AM »

Probably shouldn't admit this in public, but I've never read anything by George RR Martin and have precisely zero plans to. Not read the Wheel of Time either, and again no plans to.


I can see why a ton of people like Martin, but it's not my cup of tea. I read the first couple books in my younger years. Never really got into it. I really enjoyed the Wheel of Time through the first several books, but by the 9th-10th book, it was just spinning its wheels (pun intended). When Jordan needed a 100 page prologue (in the paperback version) just to recap and set things up, that was the last straw and I gave the series up. I hear Sanderson did a great job putting the series back on track and bringing it to a satisfying conclusion, but for me to finish the series, I'd have to go back to the beginning...and I haven't been able to make myself do that.
 
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Edward M. Grant

Re: ...but I don't wanna!
« Reply #8 on: February 27, 2019, 04:03:31 AM »
Lord of the Rings. I've never got much past page 60 any time I've tried to read it.

The story is OK, but the long digressions on the history of Elvish folk-dancing just kill it for me.
 
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Rosie Scott

Re: ...but I don't wanna!
« Reply #9 on: February 28, 2019, 06:47:25 AM »
I second Lord of the Rings. It was hard to find the story in all the fluff.

I tried to read Game of Thrones fifteen years back. Got 200 pages into the first book before I realized that one of the characters I read about had already been introduced way back and I had no recollection of it.

I have tried and failed to read Dune like twenty times. Something about it calls to me but I just never enjoy it like I want to. I still have a copy with the bookmark sitting somewhere around page 430 or so.

When I was a kid I received the first Harry Potter book for my birthday. I really tried to get into it because all my friends loved it, but I just couldn't. The writing style was too simple compared to the other books I loved at the time.

Out of all of these, I would only agree to try again with Dune. It's become kind of a challenge to myself now to get through it so on my deathbed I can say, "At least I read Dune."  Grin

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guest1038

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Re: ...but I don't wanna!
« Reply #10 on: February 28, 2019, 11:44:16 AM »
Cool topic.

There's so many books out there that I feel like I 'should' read, but it feels like homework, even if a few of the big must-reads out there do intrigue me.

Exhibit A is Dune. I own a physical copy and I keep promising myself I will read it, especially with the new movie adaptation coming next year. But, as much as Dune intrigues me, I am intimidated by it. I know it's got a lot of world building in it that you're quickly thrown into as a reader and I've heard it's the same with the number of characters, lore, etc. Still, I am resigned to reading it, it's just a matter of being in the right mood, I guess. I admit part of my apprehension is I'm afraid I'll be bored by it and I'm already going in wanting to love it because so many writers I respect do, and because I like sci-fi a lot.

The thing is, and I feel like a jerk saying this, but even though I do read every night when I go to bed I find most books I pick up to be really boring. My "did not finish" pile is massive. I try to give books a try up to the 30% mark before deciding it's not for me if that happens, but even reading to that point in certain books is tough sometimes.

Moby Dick is an absolute slog, IMO. I tried Neuromancer and yeah, snoresville. Same for Lord of the Rings. I don't think I've finished any James Patterson book I've tried, but as boring as some have said they found Orwell's 1984, I loved it.

Likewise, I flew through Dan Brown's Deception Point and I'm currently pretty enthralled with the first Hornblower novel. It's great, grabbed me right from the opening chapter. Just to add to the inconsistency though, as much as I enjoyed Carrie, I couldn't get through Salem's Lot, and I've heard from a lot of people they vastly preferred the latter to the former.  :shrug

When it comes down to it, I'm a sucker for page-turn-y-ness...for hooks and cliff-hangers. That stuff works on me if the writing, er, the storytelling is compelling or skillful enough. I really like being roped in like that to where I can't or don't want to put the book down. I try to do that with my writing, but I realize I'm not that great a writer. I do my best and try to learn from the masters.

I know, I know - I'm talking about how skillful storytelling draws me and I'm mentioning Dan Brown. I get the knocks against him. He ain't exactly Faulkner, but I can't help it. I like how he drew me in with Deception Point. (funnily enough I couldn't get through The Da Vinci Code). Point is, however you quantify it, I like what I like, and life is too short to spend it on books and stories that bore me. That's my lame justification for avoiding certain works anyway.  :hehe
 

Tom Wood

Re: ...but I don't wanna!
« Reply #11 on: February 28, 2019, 11:52:15 AM »
I tried, more than once, to read David Foster Wallace's Infinite Jest. I think he's just f*cking with us. The title says so.

That being said, I think his This is Water speech is superb:

 

Jeff Tanyard

Re: ...but I don't wanna!
« Reply #12 on: February 28, 2019, 12:06:21 PM »
But, as much as Dune intrigues me, I am intimidated by it.


Just repeat this to yourself a few times:


"I must not fear.
Fear is the mind-killer.
Fear is the little-death that brings total obliteration.
I will face my fear.
I will permit it to pass over me and through me.
And when it has gone past I will turn the inner eye to see its path.
Where the fear has gone there will be nothing. Only I will remain."


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guest1038

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Re: ...but I don't wanna!
« Reply #13 on: February 28, 2019, 12:25:26 PM »
But, as much as Dune intrigues me, I am intimidated by it.


Just repeat this to yourself a few times:


"I must not fear.
Fear is the mind-killer.
Fear is the little-death that brings total obliteration.
I will face my fear.
I will permit it to pass over me and through me.
And when it has gone past I will turn the inner eye to see its path.
Where the fear has gone there will be nothing. Only I will remain."


 :icon_mrgreen:

I'm guessing this is the mantra driven into Paul, yes? I'll have to keep this advice in mind when I finally crack the thing open.  :icon_mrgreen:  Did you enjoy it?
 

Eric Thomson

Re: ...but I don't wanna!
« Reply #14 on: February 28, 2019, 01:39:06 PM »
I first read Dune when I was 16, back in the disco era.  Re-read it many times since, as well as the two original sequels.  Read every other Dune universe book after that at least once.  The original Dune was the defining book that got me hooked on scifi.
 

Jeff Tanyard

Re: ...but I don't wanna!
« Reply #15 on: February 28, 2019, 01:40:02 PM »
But, as much as Dune intrigues me, I am intimidated by it.


Just repeat this to yourself a few times:


"I must not fear.
Fear is the mind-killer.
Fear is the little-death that brings total obliteration.
I will face my fear.
I will permit it to pass over me and through me.
And when it has gone past I will turn the inner eye to see its path.
Where the fear has gone there will be nothing. Only I will remain."


 :icon_mrgreen:

I'm guessing this is the mantra driven into Paul, yes? I'll have to keep this advice in mind when I finally crack the thing open.  :icon_mrgreen:  Did you enjoy it?


Lol... yep.  It's the "fear litany" from Dune.  And yes, I enjoyed the book.  It's been a number of years since I read it, though, and I keep meaning to read it again.  Just haven't gotten around to it yet.

Think of it as Lawrence of Arabia in space, and with a little LSD-style acid-tripping thrown in. 


I first read Dune when I was 16, back in the disco era.  Re-read it many times since, as well as the two original sequels.  Read every other Dune universe book after that at least once.  The original Dune was the defining book that got me hooked on scifi.


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She-la-te-da

Re: ...but I don't wanna!
« Reply #16 on: March 15, 2019, 09:40:37 PM »
Quote
an excellent writer with no story to tell

Sadly, yes. My brother adores the Dark Tower books, but I'm just not into them. I normally love Stephen King, but some of his stuff I just don't get. I don't like how he's fallen into doing third person present tense, either. Ewwww.

I liked The Da Vinci Code, but can't get into anything else Dan Brown writes. Read the first Dune, it was okay, but the others aren't anything I like. I have a huge DNF list now, when before I finished everything I started, no matter what. It makes me a little sad, because I want to like books, but sometimes the author just loses me.
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VanessaC

Re: ...but I don't wanna!
« Reply #17 on: March 16, 2019, 08:29:20 PM »
I have a huge DNF list now, when before I finished everything I started, no matter what. It makes me a little sad, because I want to like books, but sometimes the author just loses me.

This is me, too, at least it is now.  When I was younger I used to force myself to finish books then sometime into being an adult with a mortgage and job and other boring stuff I decided life was just way, way too short to try and finish books I wasn't enjoying.  Part of me still feels guilty, because the writer has put effort into putting those words together. But then there are all these other books to read ...

And now starting to see this from a writer's side it's so blindingly obvious that not everyone will like every book.  I'd much rather spend time on things I enjoy.
 

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