This week’s musing — courtesy of sarrod22.blogspot.com– asks… What is your least favorite book? Why?
I'm sorry, I don't mean to sound whiny, but didn't we answer this recently?
I already put the name of the book out of my mind, but I do remember it had a bug on the cover. A very big bug.
Maybe a fly.
So, let's look at a few things that make me dislike a book.
I think a good book needs at least three things. Maybe four.
A good plot...a story worth telling. Which is maybe why I hate most memoirs. I am sure the author of ever memoirs think their life is a tale worth telling, but I find they are usually not. At least not to me.
Second, I want some good characters. Interesting, a bit different. Conflicted and flawed is often good.
Lastly, I want it to be well written.
Is that too much to ask?
OK, I am no writer. I am not terrible, at least semi-literate, but not great. Nevertheless, like that famous quote about porn, I know good writing when I see it. Sadly, it seems a fair number of people that call themselves writers do not have that same talent. Read it...does that sound good? If not, try again. And again...and again.
Harsh? Maybe, but true.
Now, a book can be pretty good even if they do not excel in all of these things. Some great characters will make me overlook a flawed plot. Beautiful writing can allow me to forgive a lot. But I have my limits and I am amazed by the number of books that get published..even by like real Big Name publishers...that fall far short in one or more of these.
What was my fourth thing? I hate a book that rambles on and on, that could have gained so much from a liberal use of the Big Red Pen. Cut. Cut. Then cut some more.
Oh editors, where are you?
Do you have something that really makes you dislike a book? Care to name you most hated book?
OK, on a totally unrelated subject, I was reading a New York Times review of the latest Lee Child's book, called "A Wanted Man". By the way, they liked it, which is not the point I want to make.
What upset me was reading in that review that there is shortly going to be a movie out based on Child's 9th book, "One Shot", which I read. Good book. So a movie based on it is a fine thing and we have not reached the issue yet.
The issue is that they have cast Tom Cruise as Child's famous hero, Jack Reacher. Now, if you are at all familiar with the books, you know that Reacher is described at being 6 foot 5 inches tall, and who, as the Times review mentions, looks like a "gorilla with its face smashed in." He is a presence of a man. He is a force.
Just like Tome Cruise, right. NOT! What is he, 5'2"? With lifts. Ok, maybe 5' 6".
Really what the heck are they thinking??
I am not even that much of a Reacher fan, not like some I could name (..Sandy, are you out there?) but even I find this offensive. Why, oh why do they do this sort of thing? Yes, Cruise is a big name. Made lots of big movies over the years. But this is such terrible casting!