Bibliophiliac is the space where one passionate, voracious reader reflects on books and the reading life. You will find reviews, analysis, links, and reflections on poetry and prose both in and out of the mainstream.

A book must be the axe for the frozen sea within us. Franz Kafka

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Sunday Coffee

Gentle Readers, bless you for reading this little blog.  You have no idea how much your comments mean to me.  This community of readers is both larger and smaller than I could have imagined.  You really are Gentle Readers.  You tolerate my Trollope fanaticism, and my perhaps mystifying zeal for boxing and reverence for Freddie Roach (I refer you, Gentle Readers, to Khan Vs Maidana last night in Las Vegas for evidence of the genius of Freddie Roach).  I think you put up with my sometimes schoolmarmish ways with amazing tact.  True, occasionally one of you silently slips off during the night.  But then a new Gentle Reader will appear out of nowhere.  And the regular comments of a few do cheer me enormously, more than I can say, when I begin to feel a sense of despair over the economy, or when the slings and arrows are especially severe.

The consolation of books, and the consolation of conversations about books:  that brings me (belatedly) to the Literary Blog Hop, sponsored by The Blue Bookcase.
This week's question is about literary pet peeves.  My pet peeve is:  anything that breaks the spell of the narrative, and takes me out of the world of the book.  I am the kind of reader who will notice if your main character applies magenta lipstick on page 53 and then has a perfectly clean, pale mouth on page 54.  Errors of  usage and grammar also grate, and will take me out of the story.  (A couple that get on my nerves:  "peak" instead of "peek" and "pour" instead of "pore").  If your reader peaks over the newspaper while pouring over the help wanted ads, you've lost me.  On a deeper level, if a character does something that just doesn't make sense (something out of character), or if a character feels like a stock player, I have trouble investing myself in a novel.

Well, Gentle Readers, what are your pet literary peeves? (I know, it probably has something to do with dogs and cats who behave out of character, right?)?


As the Crowe Flies and Reads said...

Aside from bad grammar & usage (which I blame the copy editor more squarely for than the author, usually), I have a peeve with the rise of the multiple narrator story. I think it's largely lazy storytelling--the author doesn't want to work to connect the dots between one character and another, usually. (Think Jodi Picoult or Chris Bohjalian, who do it in every book). Some writers do it well, of course, and when it happens I'm always pleasantly surprised!

I agree with you about things in the narrative that take you right out of the flow of the story--irksome, those!

@parridhlantern said...

Cardboard stereotypes there merely to forward the writers agenda, stock characters loaned from Acme characters Inc, because the author's lazy or has so little respect for his audience that he believes they're not bright enough to realise. As for cats & dogs who behave out of character, well just meet our cat them, define what's "in character"
Parrish- a not so gentle reader.

Kate said...

It bothers me when characters are stereotypical. The emotional woman who's interested in clothes and shoes... or the emotionally detached man who never cries and can't miss a football game. In real life we are all so much deeper than that - more complicated. It seems like lazy writing.

Have a great week - we're almost on break!

Melody said...

I totally agree. I read a book to get a little lost in it, not to be jolted out of it by silly little things. That can be exasperating.

Willa said...

First of all bad language but bad sex scenes and bad romantic scenes make me cringe big time.

Christina said...

Yeah, I hear you with the homophones. And what about pique? Poor pique always loses out to peak or peek. It's PIQUED MY INTEREST, people!
Woah, it felt good to get that out. Aren't peeves fun? Thanks for participating in the hop!

Mayowa said...

Oh we are grateful for you too Lisa and for all your quirky interests (extra bonus points for boxing!).

My biggest pet peeve is stagnant plots. I don't like to read pages and pages of great writing that don't move the story forward. I think I don't like that because I have a tendency to do it in my own writing.

Hannah said...

I'm one of your newish gentle readers and am thrilled to have found you!

Lisa said...

Yes, yes, yes! I once had a book for review that on page 13 said a character was 14 years old and on page 14 said she was 15 years old. Later there was a contradiction in her physical appearance. Where was the editor?

Aisle B said...

I agree spell checks will not catch the subtleties of words.. they may sound the same.. but the meaning is off.

Pet peeve.. run on paragraphs..... Can't abide by them... forget run on sentences.. seems that run on paragraphs are the fad nowadays.. whatever happened to indentations...