Three months ago, I decided to read a book by a well known award winning author. This book had been sitting on my shelf to many years and I chose to read it ‘for a change’ from the last two prize winners and chit lit books I’d been emmersed in reading.
I really enjoyed reading my new selection and (as I often do) decided to search for other books by the same author. Yeepie! I was in reading heaven and ended up munching through three in a row by the same author. I loved his writing style. His plots were varied and interesting and as a writer I found myself learning a thing or two from his work. I was eager to reading his next novel and got stuck right in.
Unfortunately, after reading the first few pages of the fourth in my selection, I started to lose interest. The story kept sagging. “Where’s this going?” I asked myself. “Give him the benefit of the doubt.” I plodded on. Everytime the story presented a slight upturn, I got excited, telling myself, this is it. Now we’re getting somewhere. But no. More than half way through and even when I was almost at the end, I still found myself counting how many pages I had left before I could put it down.
As a serious writer, I have learnt to assess and reassess everything I read. So why didn’t I enjoy this read?
- The story plot was not interesting enough
- Each surprise in the plot, ended up leading to nowhere in particular
- The pace of the story was too slow
- I didn’t develop enough of an interest in the characters to care about them
- Even the end was flat and dissatisfying
I’m sure the author had his reasons for writing this novel and I could see some of the issues he was trying to raise, but the reading experience left me wondering why this book was published, when surely the publisher or agent knows this author could do better. He has a track record to prove it. Clearly I have more to learn about the publishing industry.
What do you do when you find yoursef reading a book that isn't doing it for you? Do you continue reading inspite of it all? Or are you one of those people who simply put the book down and not recommend it to fellow readers? Do you give up on the author altogether and never pick up another one of their books? I'd love to know.