Angry at a book, an incoherent rant

The book I’m reading (which shall remain nameless for the time being) has just gone from being kind of annoying to actually making me angry. So angry that I cannot seem to stop writing snarky comments in the margins. Things like, “really, really people loved to hate Bill Gates in the late 80s?” Because, I’d venture to guess that Midwestern journalism majors at small liberal arts colleges would have never even heard of Bill Gates in 1988.

And while I’m on the topic, any good journalism student would know that a question that can be answered with yes or no is not, I repeat, NOT an open-ended question.

It’s books like this, a book I am determined to finish now to prove I am better than it, that makes me wonder what ever happened to editors. Really, how did anyone let some of this slide? I’m nearly 100 pages in and the author just had a POV (point of view) slip that lasted for a paragraph. While he has chosen a very weird POV to begin with, a strange first/third person sort of thing where the narrator (the first person) is telling the story of his dead roommate (the third person) some 18-years after her death and allegedly he’s getting the info from her diaries (that he no longer has in his possession) and either she had the most detailed diaries ever, or this is TOTAL BULLSHIT.

I’m voting for bullshit.

Of course, now that I’m angry at the book I can’t seem to let anything slide. I’m actually editing line by line, circling the use of foyer three times in two sentences, and four uses of dramatic/dramatically in one paragraph.

I keep trying to stop myself, to let it go and just embrace the story. But when the writing is keeps calling attention to istel, and is so self-conscious (the narrator often points out his own jokes) it’s hard to get into the story. The writing keeps getting in the way, and that just sucks.

If this author pulls this story off, I will be amazed (which is why I won’t reveal the suckitude’s title until I finish).

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  1. Kurtis 21.Nov.09 at 11:20 pm

    I can’t speak to the other offenses, but we knew who Bill Gates was in the 1980s. Windows was out by then (I think the first version was released in 87 or so), and besides that, he invented MS Dos. By the late 80s he was already pretty rich and held up as an entrepreneurial superstar. But I don’t know if anyone really hated him until the mid-90s.

  2. UH 22.Nov.09 at 7:56 pm

    “when the writing is keeps calling attention to istel”

    When you get angry at a book your typing goes in the shitter. It’s kind of funny.

  3. JRC 23.Nov.09 at 9:59 am

    Your mini-rant on open-ended questions is right on.
    My pet peeve is the myriad of people that continually misuse the phrase “begs the question”. One would think people in the business of communication would know better.

  4. Jodi 23.Nov.09 at 12:20 pm

    JRC, I’ve seen a lot of begs the question lately. I wonder why? One of my classmates even used it in her critique of my story. I don’t think people realize that it’s flaw in a logical argument (god, I hated Logic in college), and think it just means you’re opening yourself up for questions.

  5. Jodi 23.Nov.09 at 12:27 pm

    UH, resisting the urge to correct my mistake and making you look insane is nearly killing me.

    Why you gotta be like that?

  6. JRC 23.Nov.09 at 4:06 pm

    “Begging the question” is to use circular logic in an argument. It’s one of the cardinal sins in logical argument.
    Unlike you, I love formal logic.

  7. Suzy 24.Nov.09 at 11:05 pm

    I am dying to know what book sent you over the edge. I have begun allowing myself to stop reading any book that makes me too crazy and moving on to the next read.


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