I just finished a book that doesn’t unseat THE WORST BOOK I’VE EVER READ, but it does come close. These lost hours make me wonder how many chances I should give an author before banishing them from my thoughts forever.
Kindle makes this decision tough. I can’t resist cheap books and so I downloaded this last one for a couple of dollars. It’s the author’s first–there are four more–and since I have some contact online with the author, I wanted to sample their work. The writing is serviceable, there is no elegance to the prose, there is also no character growth. There is some conflict but it doesn’t come until the book is 80% over. There is sex. As Lizzy says of Mr. Collins’s conversation, there is plenty of it to be had. Unfortunately, like the rest of the book, it too is boring. (I don’t like to read sexually explicit books as the images tend to migrate to other areas of my life. I was grateful that these scenes were so clinical and cringe-inducing that skipping was a pleasure.)
My recent rule-of-thumb is to give a writer about 50 pages and if I’m not hooked by then, so long. I gave this author the whole enchilada because I know them and was curious. As usual, I learned a lot. Bad books teach you a lot of things that good books don’t.
I’m not inclined to read anymore of this author’s work. The genre is one I’m not crazy about, their writing is, as I said, serviceable, and I’m not sure I want to pay full price for other books on the chance that there is no improvement in craft.
Are you generous and hope to get in one the leading edge of an author who may be ragged right now but is going places? Or, like me, you figure you’ll take your lumps and move on?
I’m curious. Let me know.
Take care–Susan Kaye