Thursday, January 28, 2016

Things that make you go....hmmmm.

Most of us have pet peeves when we read, right? I realized a few of mine recently while reading a book I enjoyed for the most part.

I've heard a lot of horror stories about people who freak out over any detail that is incorrect in a fire arm or some other weapon. I wouldn't know a Glock from a Flintlock so I don't care about those details. As a matter of fact, recently I realized that I grow bored if someone details out all the features of some extravagant weapon. First, I think that's glorifying the thing and that's not acceptable to me. But the other point is, I don't care. Does it shoot, stab, explode, poison, conk you on the head? That's about the extent of what I care to know. Otherwise, my eyes are glazing over.

The other recent discovery about my reading habits I made is dealing with fight scenes...and car chases are similar. If it's too long and detailed, I'm daydreaming off somewhere else...totally losing interest in what the action on the page is. And three pages of a hand-to-hand brou-ha-ha is waaaaay too long for me. I don't need it and I don't care. I might be more engaged with three pages of cops doing paperwork. Please give me the abridged version of that fight because all that detail about who hit whom where and using what fancy-schmancy martial arts move isn't progressing the plot, it's just spewing testosterone all over the place. Of course this is also probably why I can't watch a wrestling match or a boxing bout.

Now don't get me wrong. I think the action needs to happen, just not in so much detail. You don't want a book that takes place all in the character's head either. Too much of anything on the page will bog a book down. But this is probably what disappoints me the most in a traditional thriller. There's so much focus on the physical action that the mental, emotional, and psychological...not to mention realism...are usually neglected, sometimes to the point that it's insulting to the reader. The crime novels that really rate highly with me are ones that challenge me to think about motivation, strategy, conflict.

O.k. that being said, another book I read continually referred to a murder victim's husband as the client of the attorney prosecuting the murder case. And that set my teeth on edge. I'm not a courtroom fanatic, but the fact that author, editor and any other early readers let that through baffled me. The book as a whole was so spectacular. I couldn't help wishing the author had just made a mistake with a gun detail...then I wouldn't have known the difference!

So what are your pet peeves? What makes your eyes glaze over or even worse, makes you put a book down altogether?

Also remember, I'm waiting for your pictures of where you're reading. I'm excited about the ones that have come in so far and I want to include YOURS! So be sure to email it to me this weekend, or if you need some more time shoot me a note and let me know so I can plan you into my schedule.

Have a great weekend and I hope your reading is full of pet peeve-less wonderfulness!


Margie Bunting January 29, 2016 at 1:04 PM  

The first thing that came to mind is the questionable adjective "hunky" used in so many cozies to describe a good-looking man. Nothing wrong with the word, I guess (but is it really a word?), but there are so many other descriptive adjectives that could be used. There are some great cozies out there, but use of the word hunky just throws me right out of the narrative and lowers my opinion of the book one notch. Maybe it doesn't make sense and probably doesn't bother other readers, but I'd like to see a little more imagination.

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