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Old 08-21-2012, 05:25 AM   #151
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i have problems reading books by female authors... their characters seem to have too many problems with their feelings... so i may be biased against their books.
me too. other than 2 or 3 indie authors, i usually go out of my way to avoid female authors. based on what i've read they generally tend to focus on the touchy feely inner rather than the nuts&bolts outer, which isn't what i want in my preferred genres. the only way i can properly describe it is through synesthesia: they are too pastel for me.

and no, i don't like star wars (or star trek) . i prefer babylon 5 and battlestar galactica.
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Old 08-21-2012, 11:59 PM   #152
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I have a few. The first, I know, is a beloved classic to some, but in college, I took a 'W' in a lit class just to get out of finishing "Vanity Fair." Every page seemed somehow worse than the one before it.

Secondly, I really enjoy most of Walter Tevis' works - especially The Hustler, The Man Who Fell To Earth, Mockingbird - but "Steps of the Sun" left me feeling angry and cheated. He does a fantastic job pulling you in and identifying with the lead character's angst, but the resolution is petty, perverse, and surface. It was the literary equivalent of Mozart's Fantasy in Dmin K397 - beautifull, passionate, then cartoonish.

TC Boyle's short stories are amazing - I really enjoyed Tooth and Claw, but I had to stop reading "The Tortilla Curtain." It's just page after page of him dumping down fire and brimstone on his victim characters without mercy or even a clear purpose. It was just depressing and awfull.

Finally, I hated "About the Author" by John Colapinto. It read like the story of a 80s made for television action movie. I have nothing redeeming to say about it really.
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Old 08-22-2012, 12:22 AM   #153
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i have problems reading books by female authors... their characters seem to have too many problems with their feelings... so i may be biased against their books.
Can be, but not neccessarily so. Compare Ayn Rand to Shakespeare or Mary Shelly to Henrik Ibesen. Dagny Taggart was much more logical and stoic than the emotion-driven, chaotic Prince of Denmark. Frankenstein's monster makes emotional appeals, but they're simple appeals for respect and dignity, while Hedda Gabler is practically a soap opera. I'm sure there's plenty of examples like these.

Last edited by JohnGalt; 08-22-2012 at 05:34 PM. Reason: Misspelled Dagny
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Old 08-22-2012, 12:33 AM   #154
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The worst book I've ever read has to be A Tale of Two Cities, which we had to read at school. Its left me with an abiding hatred of all ADULT English classics especially Dickens. I can't even watch adaptations on TV.

On the other had school reading lists left me with a love of JRR Tolkien and Shakespeare's plays.
I've never understood how Dickens made it into the literary cannon. He writes simple cartoon characters - Have you ever met someone so one sidedly greedy like Ebenezer Scrooge? Sidney Carton was a cartoon that only had one way to redeem himself, and he followed that formula... There was no surprise there. No profound lessons. Just a cartoon following a formula. Why do people consider him so brilliant?
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Old 08-22-2012, 06:35 AM   #155
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Can be, but not neccessarily so. Compare Ayn Rand to Shakespeare or Mary Shelly to Henrik Ibesen. Dagney Taggart was much more logical and stoic than the emotion-driven,.
On the other hand Dagney Taggart was not a real character since Rand in that book at least wrote "simple cartoon characters" making the book one of the worst books I have tried to read.
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Old 08-22-2012, 10:29 AM   #156
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On the other hand Dagney Taggart was not a real character since Rand in that book at least wrote "simple cartoon characters" making the book one of the worst books I have tried to read.
That is true. I like Ayn Rand more than Dickens as I find her interesting. However, it is true that she is not a great novelist in terms of story enjoyment, character development, plot development, etc. Rand's works don't really compare well to the typical novel. They don't classify well into any genre - her "novels" wouldn't fit intp philosophy, but they certain don't hold a lot of appeal were you to gut the philosophical from them. They're closer to allegories. While I enjoy Ayn Rand, I can certainly understand how someone looking for an enjoyable story would be disappointed or frustrated with her work.

You're right though - her characters are cartoons.
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Old 08-22-2012, 05:32 PM   #157
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Can be, but not neccessarily so. Compare Ayn Rand to Shakespeare or Mary Shelly to Henrik Ibesen. Dagney Taggart was much more logical and stoic than the emotion-driven, chaotic Prince of Denmark. Frankenstein's monster makes emotional appeals, but they're simple appeals for respect and dignity, while Hedda Gabler is practically a soap opera. I'm sure there's plenty of examples like these.
Can I just gently point out it's "Dagny", not "Dagney". My middle daughter is named after the Dagny Taggart character in Atlas Shrugged, and people regularly misspell her name .
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Old 08-22-2012, 05:40 PM   #158
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I seem to remember enjoying the first three books of "The Chronicles of Thomas Covenant" by Stephen R. Donaldson, having problems with the second set of three, and trying the next set and saying "Never Again".
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