September 24th, 2010

catie_cute

reading meme: day five

Day 05 – A book you hate

I really do wish I could remember the book I read when I was 19, the one that made me say, “Christ, I can do better than *this*,” and sit down to write my first novel. But I honestly have no idea what it was.

There are, though, some books I can make blanket “I loathed this” statements about. In fact, there are authors who fit wholesale into that category: Jack L. Chalker is one of them. And for some reason I read quite a *lot* of Chalker as a teen, so I can say with impunity that I really dislike his books.

Stephen R. Donaldson narrowly misses that categorization, too. I read the Covenant books–at least three or four, disliking them more and more as I went on–and had I realized the Mordant’s Need books were by the same writer I’d never have picked them up. But I did, and I quite like them, so Donaldson isn’t a wholesale loss for me.

One book I actually feel sort of guilty admitting to disliking, because the author died recently and was the friend of many of my LJ-writer-friends, is Robert Holdstock’s MYTHAGO WOOD, which I mistakenly believed had been written by Charles de Lint. I disliked it so violently that I held it against de Lint for about fifteen years before discovering he hadn’t written it. I *still* haven’t read any de Lint, but at least I’m no longer blaming someone else’s book on him.

Nor did I like Michael Swanwick’s THE IRON DRAGON’S DAUGHTER, which still frustrates me because I love the title beyond reason. In fact, the Inheritors’ Cycle books were spawned by that title, and I’m grumpy that I can’t use it for myself.

Outside the genre, I positively hated THE RED BADGE OF COURAGE. I do believe it’s the first book I ever quit reading. I stopped at the bit where the guy gets shot through the cheek. It was just too gross, even though I had a quiz on it. Fortunately, my friend Peter had finished the book and told me what I needed to know (in exchange, I told him what happened in LORD JIM, and I believe we both passed the tests). And A SEPARATE PEACE is also on my short list of gaaaah never again. And I already mentioned the great disappointment of EMILY’S QUEST, which is probably enough to end this blog on. :)

Well, to end it on except for saying I won’t be doing the meme over the weekends (thus eking another week out of it, moo hoo hoo!), since there’s less traffic then anyway. :)

(x-posted from the essential kit)
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picoreview: Tamara Drewe

This largely rather charming movie was apparently adapted from a graphic novel, which I’m going to have to locate and read as a comparison. But taken on its own, it’s certainly worth watching, with two or three really outstanding performances and perfectly good ones from everybody else. There was the added bonus for me that I had no idea, going in, that it was about writers, and so the opening scene of a bunch of writers at work with the various processes voiced over was unexpectedly funny. :)

On one level, the movie is about Tamara Drewe, a young woman from a small village who used to have an enormously unattractive nose and who got a nose job and became 1. beautiful, and 2. a journalist, but is obliged to return home to sell her house after her mother’s death, and perhaps to rekindle her teenage romance with the extremely gorgeous local boy. Meantime, a local couple runs a writers’ retreat, which is to say the wife runs it while her husband the extremely successful crime novelist cheats on her. Hijinks, as they say, ensue. To most people, probably the basic story is whether the girl gets the boy.

To me, a writer–and I suggest not clicking through unless you wish to be spoiled, because the remainder of this sentence is a GREAT BIG SPOILER–

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(x-posted from the essential kit)

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speaking of spoilers

It turns out that irishkate did *not* click through on my previous entry about Supernatural, so I am standing up to say that I maligned her with all that silliness, and my hat is off to her for not clicking through. “I am spoilerphobic,” she said, in righteous injury. “I belong to a spoiler-free Supernatural community on LJ which I have not read for the past year JUST IN CASE.”

That’s okay. It was funny anyway. :)

But now she has seen all of s5 SPN, so now I will post my philosophical Supernatural question:

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(x-posted from the essential kit)

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