Tuesday, February 10, 2009

DNF, anyone?

Have you ever finished reading a book to um . . . finish reading the book?

I recently read my first book by an author who I had high hopes for. After all, he's mentioned in a very positive way in Donald Maass's, Writing the Breakout Novel. I expected to be wowed. 

I wasn't.

There are some interesting characters, I'll give it that. And I've read enough from fabulous authors to know you can't hit a home run for every reader every time you're up at bat. 

But still.

The middle-ish part of his book made me think I must've missed something. Or I'm not a clever enough person to follow a plot that's not entirely straight forward. Or maybe . . . just maybe . . . he flipped and fudged and kerfloogled things around to make his plot stretch out a bit.

Could that happen?

I have, in the last year or so, developed the skill of closing the pages of a book that simply wasn't doing the job for me. I'm proud that at the ripe age of 54, I now have about . . . um . . . 5 books that I've elected to take a pass on after reading a few pages. Those are my DNFs. "Did Not Finish" books that have passed all of the publishing hurdles are undoubtedly loved by someone--just not me.

I finished reading the book in question--if nothing else, I'd invested a little bit of time and wanted to see the resolution. That part wasn't bad. 

Will I read this author again? I will look at checking something out of the library some time. After all, he was in Maass's book and who am I to diss a successful novelist? I will, truly, give him another chance.

CR: Still reading Dream House. It's interesting and I'm wondering if it's going to go somewhere. I'm trusting that it will.

It's all better with friends.


  1. There is a certain popular author that my mom and sister absoultely love, they read everything that comes out by this person. I've tried to read several of his books and think I only made it through one. I don't know what it is about his writing that turns me off. I just can't stand him. I bet people would be surprised to find out who the author is. :)

  2. When I first read your comment, I was anxious that maybe the author you can't read is one I love.

    And then it occurred to me how wonderful it is that we all gravitate toward different writers. That just means there's room for all of us.