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Old 02-15-2012, 12:33 PM   #1
GlenBarrington
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A "What's so special about" thread

Books I just never understood the buzz about. Why is THAT a 'good' book?

"A Confederacy of Dunces" comes to mind.

The first Harry Potter Book, (never could work up the enthusiasm for any more!)
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Old 02-15-2012, 04:23 PM   #2
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Haven't gotten around to "Confederation...". Way low on my TBR list.

Potter, though?
Well, Rowling hooked me with the first page.
You just need to be in the mood for whimsy and idiosyncratic fantasy and appreciate good wordsmithing.
The books were originally intended as an age-appropriate kids series that are nonetheless adult-friendly. So the first volume is intended to be accessible to a ten year-old kid while the last volume is dark enough for 17 year olds (basically, adults).

Doesn't mean they are for absolutely everybody any more that everybody likes Tolkien. Personal taste and mood always come into play.

Sometimes one just isn't in the mood...
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Old 02-15-2012, 04:29 PM   #3
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Ahem.... Twilight. I'll never understand these. Ever.
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Old 02-15-2012, 04:46 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by RainingLemur View Post
Ahem.... Twilight. I'll never understand these. Ever.
Then you're probably not now nor have ever been a teenaged girl.

I barely made it halfway to the second one (I'm stubborn, okay?) before giving up.
A friend of mine made it to the end of the second. At that point he said: "Surly teenagers? Feh. I get that from my daughter every day."

Then he moved on to ABRAHAM LINCOLN VAMPIRE HUNTER.
(Honest. I could never make this stuff up.)
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Old 02-15-2012, 05:06 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GlenBarrington View Post
Books I just never understood the buzz about. Why is THAT a 'good' book?

"A Confederacy of Dunces" comes to mind.

The first Harry Potter Book, (never could work up the enthusiasm for any more!)
I have made multiple attempts at the first Harry Potter. My library has so many past records of my name attached to borrowing it they must think I really like it, but each so far has been a failed attempt to get past the first page.

It just hasn't kept me hooked. I've also tried to read the hunger games too, must be me getting old?... I like to try to have an educated sense of what my children are into... (and so I know what they are callin' it these days )

There isn't entirely a generation gap. My daughters LOVE "Anne of Green Gables" and the Laura Ingalls Wilder books, and all the books I had laying around the house when they were young.
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Old 02-15-2012, 05:15 PM   #6
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Someone lent me the first HP book to read, and was getting anxious because I hadn't started it. So I did, and read the first 30 pages or so. I stormed into her office asking her why she had given me a book about child abuse, and why did she think that was entertaining. She told me to force myself to read more, and I did and enjoyed the series.

I couldn't get into Twilight either. Couldn't get into the Sookie Stackhouse books, either, although I love True Blood.
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Old 02-15-2012, 05:38 PM   #7
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an entire genre:urban fantasy.

yes i find sexy women with swords fighting demons as tittilating as the next guy but good enough to single-handedly destroy the horror,science fiction and fantasy genres (which it has done)? god no.
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Old 02-15-2012, 05:52 PM   #8
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With Potter, it helps if you are easily enchanted by impossible worlds with impossible rules - yes, I like Tolkein too - and, perhaps more helpful, if you go through the experience with a child !
I'm afraid, with a lad that grew up with Harry, from 7, I didn't stand much of a chance !
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Old 02-15-2012, 06:00 PM   #9
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Well, I am WAY past 17 so I was never even remotely interested in Harry Potter.

I would say "What's so special about paranormal, science fiction and for Heaven's sake, vampires?" Those certainly seem to be popular around here. Am I missing something?
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Old 02-15-2012, 06:05 PM   #10
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Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell by Susanna Clarke.

Long-listed for the Man Booker Prize in 2004 and winner of the Hugo in 2005. I just couldn't finish it - so boring.
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Old 02-15-2012, 06:06 PM   #11
GlenBarrington
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I'm a sucker for a really cool title, and A.C.O.D. has the coolest title that has come down the pike in a while.

Quote:
Originally Posted by fjtorres View Post
Haven't gotten around to "Confederation...". Way low on my TBR list.

Potter, though?
Well, Rowling hooked me with the first page.
You just need to be in the mood for whimsy and idiosyncratic fantasy and appreciate good wordsmithing.
The books were originally intended as an age-appropriate kids series that are nonetheless adult-friendly. So the first volume is intended to be accessible to a ten year-old kid while the last volume is dark enough for 17 year olds (basically, adults).

Doesn't mean they are for absolutely everybody any more that everybody likes Tolkien. Personal taste and mood always come into play.

Sometimes one just isn't in the mood...
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Old 02-15-2012, 06:06 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by xg4bx View Post
an entire genre:urban fantasy.

yes i find sexy women with swords fighting demons as tittilating as the next guy but good enough to single-handedly destroy the horror,science fiction and fantasy genres (which it has done)? god no.
Don't you just love generalizations?

All Science Fiction is teenage geek boy crap?

Sorry you don't like Urban Fantasy, but there *really* is a few good, interesting stories within the genre. Kevin Hearne's "Iron Druid Chronicles" are a good start.
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Old 02-15-2012, 06:07 PM   #13
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Harry Potter - Read and enjoyed the first three. After that, meh...
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Old 02-15-2012, 06:12 PM   #14
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I think books' success are part talent and part luck. You have lots of amazing books out there who never made it to the millions whereas the HP books did. I guess advertizing is important and the buzz surrounding the books too.
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Old 02-15-2012, 07:47 PM   #15
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Then you're probably not now nor have ever been a teenaged girl.
I can neither confirm nor deny that.

There have been times where I wake up and I find myself staring at the title screen of "The Sisterhood of The Traveling Pants" and holding a half-empty bottle of Smirnoff ice that has lipstick around the rim. So...

I think I may have said too much.
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