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Plot points you can't stomach?

Discussion in 'General Book Discussion' started by Ashlea, Jan 13, 2005.

  1. Kookamoor

    Kookamoor New Member

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    Currently Reading:
    Wuthering Heights (& trashy fantasy on the side!)
    Ditto on both accounts. I just don't tend to read books in the horror genre, which is what I predominantly dislike. I can deal with murder and grisly details if it's after the fact (like in a mystery novel), but I can't deal with these things as they happen, nor do I like to read things through the eyes of a psycopath. I just find it far too uncomfortable.

    I also dislike books that are plain depressing without redeemable characters. I'm not saying I demand a happy ending, indeed some of my favourite books have very sad endings. But if an author is writing about a tradgedy without any sign of hope or happiness, then I'm not really interested. I think there is hope and love in all tradgedies. An example might be 'On The Beach'. I confess to not having read the book, but the miniseries was a very close account, I believe and I am really looking forward to reading the novel.

    Authors with their own agendas piss me off and up the wall. Terry Goodkind's preaching is getting worse with every book, and if it weren't for the story behind it, which I do enjoy I wouldn't hesitate to throw them off a cliff. The ending of God's Callgirl, where she started spouting about motivational seminars and so on, destroyed what had been a great and emotional journey up until that point.

    As with Novella, I also dislike a bad ending. I loved the first 90% of both Antonio Perez-Reverte's books I read (The Flanders Panel and The Club Dumas), but the endings of both were a let down.

    No, I don't like the concept of censorship either, because we should be able to choose what we do and don't like. If it offends you, it's your perogative to choose not to read it. Be careful of going too far the other way and insisting that people read things they *know* they dislike and feel uncomfortable with. That is almost as dictatorial and pervasive as the concept behind censorship.
     
  2. Kookamoor

    Kookamoor New Member

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    Justifyably so, I think, based on your description of the events. What's the story behind the Kobe Bryant case? I've heard about it, but don't know the details or outcome.

    In regard to people's opinions and thoughts, I find it's very different reading about a fictional character with these opinions as compared to a real-life editorial/online rant. With fiction I can suspend my outrage on the basis that 'this is made up' and just despise/disagree with the character professing the beliefs, even though I realise these people exist in reality. But when I read someone's real life opinions I can get *really* disgusted and angry.
     
  3. namedujour

    namedujour New Member

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    Kobe Bryant is a famous sports figure, who was accused by a hotel worker of inviting her into his room where he raped her. Throughout the trial, they tried to keep her identity secret, but as I recall, someone gleefully and triumphantly revealed it to the world. She dropped the case and let him off because she couldn't take it anymore.

    Throughout the case, they brought up all her previous sexual encounters. If you aren't a virgin when you're raped, they can have a field day with you. They'll have a field day with you if you WERE a virgin. In fact, it's a requirement by defense attorneys to make the victim the criminal in a rape case.

    Presumably she had had sex with someone immediately prior to getting nailed by Bryant. It shouldn't make any difference if she just got out of bed with the Green Bay Packers and their manager's dog. If she finds them all attractive, that's her business. If she DOESN'T find the next guy attractive and says "No," then "No" it is, under the law, under every religion, and under every moral dictate.
     
  4. David Frame

    David Frame New Member

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    Apologies at dragging this back onto topic, but even though I appreciate Tom Clancy books, his detail just gets on my wick. I tend to speed read/skip the parts where he describes in detail the technical compilation of the weapon at hand. I don't think that Clancy needs this to authenticate his books, in fact I think it does just the opposite.

    It pulls you out of immersion and through making you feel like you are thumbing through a manual, it simply reminds you that this is just a book and make believe after all. It puts all the characetrs and all the scenes in a much colder light. It tooks a little of the invested emotion out of it for me!!!!
     
  5. namedujour

    namedujour New Member

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    I thought of one. I can't even read newspaper articles about it, except from the corner of my eye. These are NOT abuse stories. These are things that happen to children in the care of loving people.

    Stories that make me cringe: Dad straps the baby in the car and heads toward day care to drop her off. The baby falls asleep, and is totally quiet so he forgets she's there. Dad's cell phone rings, and he loses track of what he's doing. Since he normally doesn't drop the baby off, he follows his normal routine while distracted, goes straight to work, locks the car and sits down at his desk. Meanwhile, the temperature goes up to 103 degrees, and the baby dies in the heat. You read that story (the details vary) in Texas in the summer. It usually happens two or three times between May and September every single year.

    Or, Aunt Meg is babysitting, makes lunch then forgets to turn off the stove when she goes over to the neighbor's to chat. Little Emma is playing with her dolls when a grease fire ensues, and the house burns down with her in it.

    Or, Grandma finds some old antibiotics in the medicine cabinet, and uses them to treat 8-year old Jake's cold. After a period of time antibiotics turn to poison, so Jake dies.

    Or, Dad backs his SUV out of the driveway, and doesn't see in his rearview mirror that his two-year old is on a tricycle behind him. He kills him.

    In situations like that, everyone is destroyed. These are unfixable events, with no "happy ending" possible.

    I tried to read Map of the World, and learned almost immediately that the plot involves the death of a child while in the care of a neighbor. I put the book down, and never picked it up again. I never will.
     
  6. Jenem

    Jenem kickbox

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    i can handle most types of scenes and i haven't yet encountered anything disturbing enough for me to put down a book. i've read rape scenes and mutilation etc, but i don't know that i could read a scene that involved graphic child molestation. when i read i visualize and i dont think i could handle those images. i would have to skip that part.
     
  7. bluedahlia

    bluedahlia New Member

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    So far I haven't encountered a plot that I'd avoid completely, because when I'm reading I know it's all fiction...and when it is about real life facts I do read them too. Unless I know they were created in a way to support or justify those activities-I would never read a paedophile's real life's diary for example, just like I wouldn't watch a real rape, but if it was done on a movie, be it fiction or real life case, I don't mind, it probably helps me deal with the idea of those things happening everyday.
    On the other hand I cannot stomach cheap romance novels with so predictable plots...or just any kind of book where you can tell what's going to happen for the next five pages and the author didn't even try to make that interesting.
     
  8. KaiNYC

    KaiNYC New Member

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    graphic animal cruelty.....child abuse of any kind.....those are my two turnoffs
     
  9. Libre

    Libre Member

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    The thing that bugs me the most, is when the protagonist is utterly fearless, has no conflicts, and always beats up the bad guy.
    I had to stop reading The Bourne Identity because it was proceeding along these lines. Ditto, with the book Disappearances. I dropped both of them because the main charaters had no fear, and that destroys any semblence of verisimillitude for me.

    I want my characters to be as scared as a real, living human being would be, in a perilous situation.
     
  10. MonkeyCatcher

    MonkeyCatcher New Member

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    This is also one of the reasons why I did not finish The Bourne Identity. The book just kept repeating itself, and the main character seemed invincible. Very boring after awhile.

    MonkeyCatcher
     
  11. Miss Shelf

    Miss Shelf New Member

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    I used to be able to read just about anything, but the way the world is today, I've grown to acutely dislike any graphic depictions of sexual violence, animal cruelty (if there is even a hint that is will happen, that's it for me) and detailed descriptions of human torture and mutilation. I also skip over what has been described here as "blow-by-blow" sex scenes, I agree that it doesn't advance the plot but brings it to a screeching halt.
     
  12. Prairie_Girl

    Prairie_Girl New Member

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    Heterosexual sex totally icks me out, but I just have to deal with it I guess
    [/tongue in cheek] (kidding, don't flame me, it was too easy)

    seriously though, it takes a lot to get me to stop reading a book. I don't think I've ever put a book down because the plot was upsetting me.
     
  13. Jemima Aslana

    Jemima Aslana New Member

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    It may not be a plot point as such - perhaps more a character development point. It annoys me when a book with two (or more) main chars - one female, one male - ends up having the woman only be a love-interest or a damsel in distress and never her own person. It happens very very often in the fantasy genre I love so much, so that annoys me. I don't mind there being a damsel in distress, but a female main char is usually portrayed as being fairly strong - either in body, mind or both - and that very often clashes with her sudden total helplessness.

    Same when a female char set up to be a main char ends up being nothing but a love-interest for the hero. Why is it that whenever women are around in books men invariably fall in love? As far as I know men in real life are actually able to work alongside a woman without falling in love with her - unless there's something they're not telling... hmmm hum.

    Admittedly these things may not make me put a book down completely, I absolutely hate not knowing what happens next, but they *will* make sure I'll never pick it up again.
     
  14. ions

    ions New Member

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    Currently Reading:
    Infinite Jest by David Foster Wallace
    People prattling on about the joy of babies. It bores me endlessly.

    Edit: The first post was possibly too harsh due to a terribly bad mood.
     

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