Friday Frippery! Abandonment issues…

The ones that got away…

It is a truth universally acknowledged that, when I find a book a tad on the disappointing side, my reviews have a tendency to become, shall we say, a little grumpy. You should know, however, that the review you see is normally about the eighth draft, after I’ve worked hard to insert some kind of objective balance into the whole thing.

tom cruise judging gif

Occasionally, though, a book annoys me so much, I abandon it at too early a stage to justify a full review. But to get my blood pressure back down, I usually leave an instantaneous, unconsidered reaction on Goodreads to remind myself of what heinous crime against literature the author committed to cause my outrage. Much to my surprise, these blunt and brutal notes tend to attract ‘likes’ and comments – suggesting bookish disgruntlement may be more widespread than we think.

So I thought it might be fun to share a couple of them with you. No prizes, I’m afraid, for guessing the books or the authors… but I’m betting you might be able to work out one or two…

pooh book gif

* * * * *

Abandoned at 30% on the grounds of trying not to die from boredom. Another case of an author doing a ton of research, bunging it all down on paper and thinking that’s enough to make a novel. It isn’t. Let me save you reading the whole 700+ pages – spoiler alert! White man bad – destroys land, forest and indigenous way of life! There! Bet you’re as astonished at that major revelation as I am…

In fairness, other reviews suggest that eventually she widens it out to clarify that ALL men are bad…

* * * * *

Well enough written, but not for me. Turns out it’s some kind of YA fantasy – ‘cos, like, there’s just not enough of them in the world already…

* * * * *

peanuts writing 2

* * * * *

Anti-religious drivel combined with excessive foul language, sexual fantasising and filth – not for me. Abandoned at 44% – just at the point where the author gives us some profound insights into the toilet habits of our main character…

“Afterwards, he hoses down the inside of the toilet bowl with his urine to dislodge any skid marks.”

Almost poetry, isn’t it? I wonder how the great authors of the past ever managed to tell a story without letting us know about these crucial (despite being entirely irrelevant) details.

* * * * *

Utterly dreadful – a longwinded racist, bigoted diatribe by a man with neither the intelligence nor the culture to appreciate the opportunity his wealth brought him to broaden his narrow mind. And not even funny. Done with Twain now.

* * * * *

peanuts writing 1

* * * * *

Abandoned. I was already finding the book repetitive and a bit silly, but was willing to persevere till I hit the extended graphic oral sex scene at the 18% mark, which other reviews lead me to believe is the first of many. Not good enough otherwise to tempt me to read hundreds more pages of an elderly man’s sex fantasies. Note to self: Remember to stop getting books written by men over the age of 60 – it must be hormonal…

* * * * *

Now aren’t you glad you’re normally only subjected to the revised version?

Have a great Friday! 😉

 

41 thoughts on “Friday Frippery! Abandonment issues…

  1. Ha ha ha!!! Hilarious!!! The last one especially. I only have a probable guess at two. But I am curious about the title of the YA book you put down. I hear you. There are quite a few.

    I probably wouldn’t have made it as far as you did with any of these.

    • Haha! Glad you enjoyed them! The YA one was one that was being marketed as a sort of historical fiction about Roman Britain, but was actually full of myth, magic and a teenage love triangle – bad marketing. It might have been quite good but just not my kind of thing! Some of the others were truly dire though…

  2. I can’t stop laughing!! This is brilliant, FF! I do love your wit . . .

    I HAVE to know the third novel so I can promptly flush it down the toilet! WHO would write that pointless and foul drivel? His housekeeping is quite lacking.

    • Hahaha! Thank you! Now you know how grumpy I can REALLY get! 😉

      The odd thing is that some people just loved that book – in fact, it was glowing reviews that tempted me into it in the first place. Apparently it was “award-winning” – perhaps the award for “Most Revolting Book of the Year”? Sometimes life leaves me baffled…

  3. For those of us who stink at guessing games, I wish you’d included titles of these sorry excuses for literature, FF. I can see where you’d find each one of them unacceptable, and I’m surprised you gave them as much slack as you did! The last book I abandoned wasn’t anywhere near as awful as the one with the toilet bowl *shudders* Gee, how did something like that get published?!?

    • Haha! It felt too mean to name and shame them, but I promise most of them are unlikely to cross your path! The toilet bowl one has become a sort of benchmark for me – I find myself saying, well, this book might be awful but at least s/he hasn’t mentioned skid marks… 😉

  4. I’ve just finished reading a (very famous) YA trilogy, which I had to tackle because I am the only fast-reading friend of a 12 year-old girl who has started writing alternative versions of incidents in the book and sending them to me for a critical reaction. I have to say, my girl’s stories are as good as the author’s!
    Think I recognise a couple of your abandons.

    • I’m sure I might have enjoyed these YA things when I was a teenager but I fear they all seem the same now, and I’m soooo bored with them being hyped all over the place. This one was marketed as if it was going to be historical fiction set in the Roman era, so I got conned into it…

  5. Ha, this is very shameful, but there is a vindictive pleasure to be derived out of bad reviews for authors I dislike.. 😀 Loved reading this, FictionFan..I got only one of them (not sure I want to recognise which book has the toilet content), but which is this Twain one (maybe you could tell me later so as not to spoil the fun for others?.. 😛 )

    • Me too – when I hate a book the first thing I do is go and read all the other 1-star reviews! So mean! Haha! The Twain book was Innocents Abroad – oooh, he made me so angry with the way he spoke about every non-American he met. We’re all ugly and dirty and stupid, apparently, especially the women! Grrr… lucky he was already dead… 😉

      • Ooh thank god, I’m not the only one..I haunt Goodreads for bad reviews.. 😛 That’s such a shame..I really liked Twain..his sense of humour is so good..ah well, I suppose one can be both funny and a racist.. 😦

        • I had enjoyed a couple of Twain books before I read, or at least tried to read, that one, but ugh! It put me off him for life! I doubt if I’ll ever read anything by him again…pity!

  6. I love your candor, FictionFan! Very entertaining! And I don’t particularly want to read any of these based on your reviews!

    And I love hitting the “like” button on all the other one or two star reviews when I dislike or just can’t get into a book, especially a book others seem to really enjoy. Makes me feel better and less alone!

    • Haha! Thank you! No, I wouldn’t be recommending any of these… 😉

      I’m glad it’s not just me! There’s something very reassuring about knowing other people are just as baffled about why a book is getting rave reviews as I am – it’s odd how differently we can all react to the same thing!

  7. Hilarious, some of them sound like books I suspect, one in particular I wouldn’t even dare try, so bravo for even daring to dip your eyes into the language! It’s good to have a place where we can be free to say it how it really was!

    • Haha! I must admit I laugh at myself when I see just how grumpy I get… I try to tell myself ‘it’s only a book’ but it doesn’t seem to help! It’s almost as if the book has set out deliberately to annoy me. 😉 Still, at least these are ones I won’t be recommending…

  8. Perhaps the toilet writer could win a booby prize where the prize meant that he (I assume its a he) had to do latrine duty for a month and be forced to clean toilets. Of course, perhaps that is was did happen in his dim and distant and so he wants to punish the rest of us

    I’m afraid I still seem to be abandoning more books at a very early stage than finishing any at the moment, and am writing apologetic little bleats to NetGalley saying ‘sorry, won’t review, abandoned 20 pages in’

    • The odd thing is that lots of people seemed to think the toilet book was brilliant – baffling! But I’ve come to the conclusion that people are generally baffling – I’ve just been writing a slating review of another book that loads of people seem to have loved. Very weird!

      Yes, I’m struggling too – partly events, but partly I do think a lot of what’s being published at the moment is pretty poor. Also some gems, of course, but it’s hard to find them amidst the dross.

  9. Your reviews are indicative of writers who find every little detail of their petty lives important, even their toileting.

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