Saturday, May 25, 2013

This book is TOO stupid!

What makes you stop reading a book?  Language?  Sex?  Violence?
For me, it's stupidity.

I hate stupid plots.  Even worse are stupid characters.  Especially stupid girls!  When I find myself inwardly screaming at the main character in frustration because she can't see what's right in front of her face, it's time for me to put that book down. Or, when the dialogue between characters is so inane and poorly written that I find myself gritting my teeth, I know I won't be finishing that particular book.

I also hate bad writing.  If an author's voice isn't authentic and doesn't ring true, or if they try to be too clever in replicating some imaginary dialect...forget it.  I can't go there.

Everyone has a breaking point and stupidity in a book is definitely mine.  The last Mary Higgins Clark book I ever read was the one where the main character went to an abandoned warehouse in the middle of the night, in search of a killer, without telling anyone where she was going; I thought she deserved to get buried alive.  I haven't read Clark since.  I guess I have a low tolerance for dumb.

What about you?  What makes you stop reading a book?


  1. LOL, remind me not to act stupid around you Lark! I have a phobia about being buried alive and that book freaked me out! I know what you mean, like in a horror film where the dumb girl runs up the stairs instead of out the door! I can overlook stupidity but not weak characters. If they don't feel real then I'm out. And bad writing where I can't escape into the world I'm reading about, if doesn't fire my imagination, I just move on.

  2. Bad writing is a definite killer for me. If I can't plow through the bad dialogue, pedestrian prose and useless descriptive set ups in the first couple of chapters, that novel is dead to me. I also hate those Russian style books where the author has tried to cram in so many characters that he is compelled to put an endless cast of characters list at the front of the book. UGHH!

  3. LOL I'm pretty much right there with you!!

  4. I agree! Stupid characters and insipid dialogue are deal breakers for me. I once read a book about 3 women, and chapter one was about character one, chapter two continued the story but with character two, etc. I found myself skipping two of the characters entirely, and not missing any of the story. And then I realized I didn't really care about the first character either, and that was the end of the book for me! I am amazed at how easy it is to find a bad book, and how rare to find a good one.

  5. I think that if a book doesn't engage me quickly, it's not the right time for me to read it. I don't feel guilty about not finishing something! But in order to cause me to CHOOSE to stop, I think that stupid activities like your example are the reason -- it breaks my willing suspension of disbelief and then all is lost!