Tuesday, August 14, 2012

When You Read a Really Bad Book

It happens. Not very often. But it does happen.

You find a book that promises to really deliver the goods. Cover, jacket blurb, first paragraph, quick perusal.
So you buy it.

About a third of the way through it gets interesting, at least suspenseful. Perhaps the difficulty is in the characterization. Maybe the writing is good, but the plot is obscure or not very compelling. What keeps you reading? Or do you quit? Do you -forbid it happens-read the last page to see if there could possibly be a redeeming ending?

If, by the time you are on the last chapter the book leaves you not even knowing how it is you want the book to end, someone has not done their job. Several someones, in fact. Writer, editor, and the best confidantes of both of them.

If the book happens to be loooong, then you have perhaps wasted valuable time, but you have redeemed it in education. All books do not live up to their promise. Not all published authors should have been.

So, not a total waste. And certainly not a detriment to diving in to the next one. How bad could it be?