Friday, December 10, 2010

Literary Blog Hop

Literary Pet Peeves

Literary Blog Hop is hosted by The Blue Bookcase. If you feature book reviews of literary fiction, classic literature, and general literary discussion, you too can join in!

This week's question is:

What is one of your literary pet peeves?  Is there something that writers do that really sets your teeth on edge?  Be specific, and give examples if you can.

I like to think that I am open to almost any style or genre of writing; however one of the few things that bothers me when reading a book is when the author does not provide sufficient information to let you know who is talking, and where and when the discussion or action is taking place.  This is popular in much of the post-modern fiction today, but is not always handled well.
One book that exemplifies this for me was The Inheritance of Loss by Kiran Desai.  It did not help that I found most of the characters uninteresting, but the shifts were handled so poorly that I lost interest in the stories she was trying to tell.  A counter example, where the author handles shifts in place and time that are just as complicated , but is able to do it with a style that makes it so natural that you almost automatically know when and where you are, is Wallace Stegner's jewel of a novel, Recapitulation.


Melody said...

That is frustrating. Especially when re-reading doesn't help--the information simply isn't there.

@parridhlantern said...

This reeks of laziness by the author, or lack of confidence in their ability.

James said...

Yes it is frustrating, but fortunately not too common among the authors I have read.

Deb Nance at Readerbuzz said...

I've been trying to put my finger on what I dislike in writing. I called it pretentiousness at my blog. I think it is really something to do with falseness. Writing in a way that mimics the beautiful sentences of other, better writers, but that doesn't have the underlying core of truth.

I'm doing a terrible job of trying to figure this out.

James said...

Perhaps it is just one of those things that you know when you see it.