Wednesday, May 25, 2011
But what other things will derail you from reading a book?
I ask because I just picked up Prince of Thorns by Mark Lawrence and made it about two chapters before I put it down for good. I'm surprised I made it that far.
I don't want to pick on Lawrence's book, but his main character is a deal breaker for me. He's an unrepentant rapist and murderer and it doesn't matter what kind of turnaround there is later in the book-- I despise the character as he exists in the early chapters. Years ago I tried to read "Lord Foul's Bane" and couldn't make it past the rape committed by the main character. "Prince of Thorns" makes that depiction seem beyond mild in comparison.
I can't do it. I can't read through the beginning while waiting for some kind of turning point. It's that stomach-turning in my opinion.
What about you? What are your literary deal breakers?
I have a few. Murder and rape by the main character are certainly issues, as are politics that clearly come from the author's point of view and leap out of the context of the story. I'm also not a fan of stories that take cheap shots at religion. I'm all for questioning the hypocrisy of people who use religion to manipulate others, but using that context to insult the general belief in God or mainstream religion is a definite turn off for me. Stephen King has become someone I have a hard time reading because he likes to take ham-fisted shots at religion and the military-- which is a shame because I loved his earlier work. (I have family that have served in Vietnam and friends who have served in Afghanistan, so the military thing is kind of personal for me).
It's a fine line sometimes. I don't pick and choose authors based on their personal politics. I read many authors that don't share my politics, but it doesn't derail me from reading their work if I feel confident that I won't be sucker-punched along the way. If I do feel sucker-punched I stop buying their books--who wants to pay to be offended?
What are your hot-button issues?
**Quick Note** Be sure to read the comments on this post for some good input on "Prince of Thorns" and what themes the author may be trying to convey.