Authors you just don't get?

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Dave
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Authors you just don't get?

Post by Dave » 21 Aug 2015, 19:11

There is a topic on this forum called 'Overrated Authors'. I almost responded to it, but I realized the authors I was going to comment on aren't necessarily over-rated, as much as I just don't get them. Here they are:
Paul West. I tried to read his novel "The Dry Danube" a couple of times & just couldn't start it. Later I tried to read a book of his called something like "Cheops: a Cupboard for the Sun." It was about ancient Egypt, but it was just unreadable for me.
William Faulkner. I tried to read a book of his short stories called "Knight's Gambit" but couldn't finish it. I found the stories just boring, unentertaining. I tried to read "Absolom, Absolom" a few years ago & wasn't able to get into it at all. I couldn't tell who was narrating the book at times, whose voice was speaking. It maked me reluctant to try any more Faulkner. Oddly enough, I have a book of short stories by Faulkner called "Big Woods" on my shelf. I've had that book for 20 years & have never tried to read it. One of these days I'll probably give it a shot.
Walker Percy. I heard for years about "The Moviegoer" & its protagonist Binx Bolling. A couple of years ago I read the book. I must say it kept me interested, & I was able to finish it, but ultimately found it very unsatisfying. The book just didn't have very much to say to me. I guess I found it an empty book.
Well, that's my two cents.

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DATo
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Post by DATo » 22 Aug 2015, 04:15

I know what you're saying. I have had similar experiences. I think it has more to do with the style in which an author writes rather than the story itself. There are times when I am in the mood for a more ambiguous (or stylized) presentation, but I must admit that most often I prefer a story which is told straight-up and without a lot of garnish. The "garnish" is often critiqued as being pretentious writing. In some cases this is true, but I think the word pretentious is often overused. Some metaphorical passages, for instance, beautifully capture the essence of an idea and are quite to the point. They simply convey an idea in a more poetic manner, but they require more effort on the part of the reader to make the connection to what the author is trying to say. Oftentimes reader's personal tastes in literature are adverse to having to perform literary acrobatics and simply want to proceed to what happens next.

Other things, such as digressions, also can be unwanted distractions. One author who used a lot of digressions was Willa Cather, but, generally speaking, her digressions were often more interesting than what was happening at that particular time in the story.

One author, David Mitchell (Ghostwritten, Cloud Atlas), whose work I have come to enjoy, uses a lot of post-modernistic techniques in his novels and it seems to work for me, but I know many others find some of his stories weird or confusing.
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HalcyonFlower
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Post by HalcyonFlower » 11 Oct 2015, 15:55

E. L. James D:

I tried to read her novel to get out of my comfort zone but found her writing to encourage abusive relationships and from what I hear, a misrepresentation of the BMSD community. Because of the heavy emphasis on it, I couldn't finish reading the book at all. Sometimes it's hard to figure out whether an author is a self-insert or if the character is truly an original piece and in this case...I don't know.

Just to clarify, I don't hate her but just don't understand her approach to the subject she writes about.
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Post by Christina O Phillips » 13 Apr 2017, 09:44

I myself do not like Hemingway and I do not think he is overrated, I just don't think he is my kind of writer. I absolutely hated The Old Man and the Sea. And last year I finally read The Great Gatsby and did not like the writing style: there was so much narration: They talked, they ate, they decided to go and drive over to...Gah! Just let me see them talking! Show me more, don't just tell me about it all. Is that novel overrated? Probably not, but like the title of this thread says, I just didn't get it.

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Post by Gingerbo0ks » 13 Apr 2017, 11:33

Sorry but I just do not get John Green. I've read the fault in our stars and have seen the movie for paper towns. Unless it's an American thing but I'm from the UK and I can't recall any teenagers that behave or speak how he portrays them. I find it all a bit false.
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Post by Katherine Smith » 13 Apr 2017, 16:46

I do not understand William Faulkner. I had to read two of his books for a comparative world literature class and I got lost halfway through. The guy does not know the meaning of periods or run-on sentences. Even though I know that he is a good writer, his works are very hard to read.
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Post by Kitkat3 » 18 Apr 2017, 22:41

Christina O Phillips wrote:I myself do not like Hemingway and I do not think he is overrated, I just don't think he is my kind of writer. I absolutely hated The Old Man and the Sea. And last year I finally read The Great Gatsby and did not like the writing style: there was so much narration: They talked, they ate, they decided to go and drive over to...Gah! Just let me see them talking! Show me more, don't just tell me about it all. Is that novel overrated? Probably not, but like the title of this thread says, I just didn't get it.
I don't like Hemingway either. I had to read A Farewell to Arms in high school, and I remember being so angry when I finished reading that I threw the book across the room. It was just so depressing, and I couldn't connect with the main character AT ALL. He just seemed so heartless over and over again and so numb, and it drove me insane.

I really liked The Great Gatsby though. The lack of dialogue was a little strange, but the way that Fitzgerald wrote is just amazing to me. Every line is so eloquent; I felt like I was reading a poem. I would say the artistry with that book is the way that Fitzgerald portrays Gatsby's loneliness and how money really does not buy happiness.

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Post by palilogy » 11 Jun 2018, 21:02

I have tried to read Charles Dickens several times, but he is one of the authors that I just don't get.
If that is even possible? I will try waiting a few years and returning to his books later. I understand people say they are great...but for me..maybe I just need more time.

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Post by Dael Reader » 13 Jun 2018, 20:15

I have never understood why Hemingway is such a big deal. I've just never been drawn into any of his books.

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Post by ObsessedBookNerd » 05 Sep 2018, 23:33

John Green, Nicholas Sparks, Jodi Picoult. Everyone loves these authors but I can’t get through their books. I don’t like to read depressing books; the world has enough bad stuff going on I don’t want to read it in books too. I was also bored reading The Great Gatsby, Animal Farm, and Lord of the Flies. That’s all I can think of off the top of my head. People like reading from these books/authors and I just don’t understand why they would want to.

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Post by KCWolf » 11 Sep 2018, 21:33

John Updike, to name one. Ever since college, I've felt that I don't really get into his works as much as some others. Also, I don't get what's so great about Nora Roberts either. I find her books rather boring.
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Post by MsLisa » 10 Oct 2018, 18:35

I find John Grisham and Enid Blyton to be incredibly horrible at fleshing out their characters. And they bore me.

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Post by Zimall » 15 Oct 2018, 11:09

I dont get hemingway sometimes..

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Post by DakotaA » 04 Dec 2018, 07:40

I don't get Douglas Adams... as in I literally don't understand his books half the time! I've been trying to get through the entirety of Hitchhikers Guide (the 4 story book) for a few YEARS now. I've been in the last 'book' for maybe a year and half now and struggle to get through a single sentence sometimes. I genuinely think his mind exists on a higher plane than mine. That being said, I love the absurdity of his writing and ideas.
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Post by M Zee » 06 Dec 2018, 18:42

Gingerbo0ks wrote:
13 Apr 2017, 11:33
Sorry but I just do not get John Green. I've read the fault in our stars and have seen the movie for paper towns. Unless it's an American thing but I'm from the UK and I can't recall any teenagers that behave or speak how he portrays them. I find it all a bit false.
Same. I enjoy listening to him talk but his characters and stories aren't for me. Most of the time, the plot revolves around shy and reserved (or awkward) Character A and how their life is changed by the exciting and manic Character B. I've read a handful of his books and none of them seem to be any different.
I was born with a reading list I will never finish.

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