Monday, May 15, 2006

10 Things I Hate About You...You Bad Book

A meme I nicked from Glenda Larke's blog.

Stuff I hate to see in books.

1. Endless beginnings, especially those prologues that have nothing at all to do with the rest of the first half of the book and whose purpose doesn't become clear until chapter eleventy-hundred, by which point you've forgotten clear how it all started.

2. Billions of characters all turning up in the first couple of chapters, all of whom I'm supposed to give a damn about. But how am I supposed to remember which one is the alcoholic jockey with the schoolteacher girlfriend, who's teaching the kids of the ex-Olympic horse woman and sleeping with her husband, whose stepdaughter fancies the guy from the stables whose sister has just moved in and fancies... oh Christ, I don't care any more. Jilly Cooper can do it. The author whose book I just outlined above (any guesses? I only got a quarter through before I gave up) can't.

3. Those bloody Scottish characters who start every sentence with 'Och' and say 'nae' instead of--what is it supposed to be instead of? Billie Piper did it better when she met Queen Victoria in Dr Who. Seriously. What are you, the Nac Mac Feegle?

4. Fantasy books that include more than a dozen new words in the first paragraph. Vaellina looked out of the window at the Mergl citadel of Kinsk and wished the Plotzbum hadn't curtailed her powers of Skimseeing. If only the Flimsbotty would return to put things right! But since the battle with the Kugglebinders nineteen Moonspars ago, the only Drovian beings in the whole of Plongy were the Narskinians.

5. Character violations. You know, like when your restrained, shy, nurturing, hopelessly romantic heroine suddenly takes all her clothes off in the back of the limo to taunt the hero. Where was the chapter where she grew a spine?

6. The endless, endless cliche of the heroine who sees her guy have a conversation with another woman, and then storms off with no word of explanation for three years. Yeah, like you're going to engender enough trust to spend your lives together.

7. See above, only with the hero becoming suspicious this time. Then he cruelly condemns the heroine, half-rapes her (sometimes more than half) and abandons her. She never says a freaking word to set him right, even if he tells her what's wrong, which he usually doesn't, and turns up barefoot and pregnant but still madly in love with him. In fact, the whole secret baby thing. Done to death. Twenty-first century, man.

8. Jokes set up so far in advance that you can see them with binoculars.

9. Getting to a tense crisis, heroine dangling over a cliff, held up by her ponytail which is snagged on a twig, while above her the evil villain has the hero tied down with unbreakable bonds and is aiming a gun at his head...the chapter ends and you turn, feverishly, to the next page...and it's three months later, they're happily married and expecting an ickle fluffy baby, and laughing about how they vanquished the evil overlord last spring. Bah. Bah, I say!

10. Historicals where the forward-thinking heroine doesn't wear a corset. She'd have been trussed in one since she grew breasts and her clothes wouldn't fit without it. I don't care why, it's like a modern woman wearing no knickers. Or bra. Or shoes.

And please, those things take freaking hours to get off. There'll be no more casually exposed boobies, ta.

Oh, and finally (because I do words, not numbers, right?):

11. Those 'Oh but you must read it!' books. I must breathe, I must eat, and I must sleep. I won't die if I haven't read the Da Vinci Code. Besides, I already know what happens.

1 comment:

  1. Vaellina looked out of the window at the Mergl citadel of Kinsk and wished the Plotzbum hadn't curtailed her powers of Skimseeing. If only the Flimsbotty would return to put things right! But since the battle with the Kugglebinders nineteen Moonspars ago, the only Drovian beings in the whole of Plongy were the Narskinians.

    ROTFPMSL!!! Oh, you hit it right on the head. Hilarious!

    ReplyDelete