Was the authors style distracting from the plot?

Use this forum to discuss the March 2018 Book of the Month, "Final Notice" by Van Fleisher.
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brunettebiblio
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Re: Was the authors style distracting from the plot?

Post by brunettebiblio » 12 Mar 2018, 13:43

I DNF'ed this book because of the writing style. For me, it was an issue of too many points of view. I kept getting confused with who said/did what and had to go back numerous times to refresh my memory. Had this been a smaller amount, I think I would have definitely managed to finish, and maybe even enjoy, this story.

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Post by britt13 » 12 Mar 2018, 13:56

ccrews0408 wrote:
11 Mar 2018, 18:45
I thought it was just me who found his writing style distracting!! I still enjoyed the book, but I was unable to read as quickly as I normally would have.
Finally! Someone else who noticed. That was a big issue for me. I usually am a pretty fast reader and I had to keep stopping because of different elements of style. But unlike you, that made me not enjoy it as much. The flow was interrupted so that drastically affected my enjoyment level. I am glad that you still liked the book!

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Post by britt13 » 12 Mar 2018, 13:58

VictoriaMcMillen wrote:
12 Mar 2018, 09:30
Now that you mention it, I did feel some of the transitions between characters happened too fast, without preparation for the break. There was one point that the author was discussed, by himself or the editor, as wanting to add more to the scene, but didn't. I found that blurb odd and very out of place in the text. Other than that, I found it seamless as I was easily directed by the place names in bold and character names quickly introduced after transitions.

I think overall the book was rather menacing, in its own way, as politics are these days. It was almost if I was irritated knowing all of this is happening right now... and who the President is.
I had to keep checking my self about the reality of the politics of the book. I think sometimes when I was angry or irritated it was at that and not the actual book. I am really glad that you brought that up.

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Post by britt13 » 12 Mar 2018, 14:01

brunettebiblio wrote:
12 Mar 2018, 13:43
I DNF'ed this book because of the writing style. For me, it was an issue of too many points of view. I kept getting confused with who said/did what and had to go back numerous times to refresh my memory. Had this been a smaller amount, I think I would have definitely managed to finish, and maybe even enjoy, this story.
I agree. It also felt like backstory was given to a character that was only there for a few pages before they killed themselves/ killed someone else and themselves. I felt that info could have been given through articles or TV news that Vince was taking in. He did it anyway, so it seemed like that would have been less confusing and would have flowed better.

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Post by ButterscotchCherrie » 12 Mar 2018, 15:58

I found the style mostly transparent. This isn't style as such, but as I believe was mentioned in one of the reviews I've seen, there were some lapses into the present tense. I got the impression that the book was originally written that way, or at least parts, and then they didn't all get changed. The sex scenes jarred for me, especially the tongue-in-cheek aside about "the author feels sorry for you if you wondered whether he was wearing socks" - what!? - positively Gogolian. I was fine with the name changes like Brightfahrt - LOL.

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Post by ViziVoir » 13 Mar 2018, 10:13

Parenthetical asides especially irk me. I can overlook frequent use of ellipses and semicolons, but thanks for bringing this to my attention, regardless. Books that break immersion in the way you described are somewhat of a pet peeves of mine.

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Post by Camille Turner » 13 Mar 2018, 14:57

I did notice it but I actually liked it. I don't think I would have normally, but in this case, in dealing with such heavy subject matter, I was quite glad for some of the quirky stylistic choices which I felt lightened the mood a bit somehow by giving me a slight distraction so to speak.

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Post by kfwilson6 » 13 Mar 2018, 15:35

melissy370 wrote:
11 Mar 2018, 14:52
There were several things wrong with the author's writing style for me. I put all of my frustration with the book in my review for it. One was the odd side comments after some sections from the author. I don't think those were needed. Fleischer had good ideas but overwriting really killed it for me.
The side comments were very odd as if he didn't know how else to add humor to the book. I didn't like them and didn't think they fit in well at all.

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Post by Honeybeetle » 14 Mar 2018, 23:05

I already vented most of my spleen about this in my review, but I felt like the author's style absolutely killed the book's momentum. I found it a struggle to read all the way through as so much of the narrative felt unnecessary. The asides, the irrelevant business jargon, always jumping to a new scene... I honestly got pretty frustrated with it.
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Post by britt13 » 15 Mar 2018, 18:57

Camille Turner wrote:
13 Mar 2018, 14:57
I did notice it but I actually liked it. I don't think I would have normally, but in this case, in dealing with such heavy subject matter, I was quite glad for some of the quirky stylistic choices which I felt lightened the mood a bit somehow by giving me a slight distraction so to speak.
This is why I posted the question. I am always interested to see the opinions of not only those like mine but the other side too. Actually, it is more interesting when someone has an opposing view. I am glad that you enjoyed it, I can see where it would provide a buffer to the heavier topics.

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Post by britt13 » 15 Mar 2018, 18:59

kfwilson6 wrote:
13 Mar 2018, 15:35
melissy370 wrote:
11 Mar 2018, 14:52
There were several things wrong with the author's writing style for me. I put all of my frustration with the book in my review for it. One was the odd side comments after some sections from the author. I don't think those were needed. Fleischer had good ideas but overwriting really killed it for me.
The side comments were very odd as if he didn't know how else to add humor to the book. I didn't like them and didn't think they fit in well at all.
That was what I felt too. That is why I saw it as a weakness. I felt that with stronger writing you could still have the humor, it would just be worked in. That being said I know that comedy is harder than tragedy just from my theater background, so I would assume it is similar in writing.

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Post by britt13 » 15 Mar 2018, 19:01

Honeybeetle wrote:
14 Mar 2018, 23:05
I already vented most of my spleen about this in my review, but I felt like the author's style absolutely killed the book's momentum. I found it a struggle to read all the way through as so much of the narrative felt unnecessary. The asides, the irrelevant business jargon, always jumping to a new scene... I honestly got pretty frustrated with it.
I felt the same way. I have yet to write my review because I am rereading the book to see if I was too harsh in my first evaluation of it, but so far I still feel the same way. I was actually surprised to find how many people really enjoyed the book. Just goes to show that people have all different types of tastes in topics, styles, and such in writing.

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Post by Camille Turner » 15 Mar 2018, 20:03

britt13 wrote:
15 Mar 2018, 18:57
Camille Turner wrote:
13 Mar 2018, 14:57
I did notice it but I actually liked it. I don't think I would have normally, but in this case, in dealing with such heavy subject matter, I was quite glad for some of the quirky stylistic choices which I felt lightened the mood a bit somehow by giving me a slight distraction so to speak.
This is why I posted the question. I am always interested to see the opinions of not only those like mine but the other side too. Actually, it is more interesting when someone has an opposing view. I am glad that you enjoyed it, I can see where it would provide a buffer to the heavier topics.
Absolutely — I agree with you that these discussions are great for that. I can likewise see your point of view that it was a bit distracting. Thanks for posting a great question!

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Post by Honeybeetle » 15 Mar 2018, 20:59

britt13 wrote:
15 Mar 2018, 19:01
Honeybeetle wrote:
14 Mar 2018, 23:05
I already vented most of my spleen about this in my review, but I felt like the author's style absolutely killed the book's momentum. I found it a struggle to read all the way through as so much of the narrative felt unnecessary. The asides, the irrelevant business jargon, always jumping to a new scene... I honestly got pretty frustrated with it.
I felt the same way. I have yet to write my review because I am rereading the book to see if I was too harsh in my first evaluation of it, but so far I still feel the same way. I was actually surprised to find how many people really enjoyed the book. Just goes to show that people have all different types of tastes in topics, styles, and such in writing.
Yes, I was a little surprised at the Goodreads rating (I hope that doesn't make me sound too mean-- it's very hard to finish a novel and the author should be proud for getting it done even if I don't feel like it's anything too hot personally). I guess it depends on how much weight different readers give to different criteria. The style thing just happens to hit a lot of my own pet peeves really hard, to the extent that it ruined the experience for me.
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Post by holsam_87 » 16 Mar 2018, 00:55

I actually didn't even notice these elements from his style. I guess I was so immersed in reading, that I wasn't distracted at all.
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“We’ve all got both light and dark inside us. What matters is the part we choose to act on. That’s who we really are.”

—J. K. Rowling, Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix

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