Have you ever intentionally avoided reading a top 10 fantasy book? If so why?

Discussion in 'Fantasy' started by kenubrion, Jul 16, 2017.

  1. kenubrion

    kenubrion Journeyed there and back again

    This means the book is intentionally rejected with zero exposure to it. This blows me away when it's said, especially when avoiding the book is made to sound like a considered and informed decision. How can anyone reject a book without having any personal experience with it?

    I'm using Ben's top ten in the best 25 list here: http://bestfantasybooks.com/top25-fantasy-books.php#

    A post about the number 1 book got me to ask this. I've meant to mention it before because it does blow me away when someone brags about never reading a certain top 10 book. What could possibly be the reason?
     
  2. jo zebedee

    jo zebedee Journeyed there and back again

    Yep. Loads. Because I know me and epic fantasy don't get along.
     
  3. Ryan W. Mueller

    Ryan W. Mueller Ran bridges next to Kaladin

    The only one I haven't read is The Magicians. It doesn't sound like something I'd enjoy at all.
     
  4. Sneaky Burrito

    Sneaky Burrito Crazy Cat Lady Staff Member

    I haven't read anything by Neil Gaiman. My husband has read quite a lot of his work, and knows my tastes pretty well, and says I would hate Gaiman's writing. (Well, I guess American Gods is actually #11 on the list.) I'm not saying absolutely that I won't pick one of his books up one day, but there's so much else out there that I want to read that I may never get to it.
     
  5. Silvion Night

    Silvion Night Sir Readalot Staff Member

    Agreed. I avoind this one as well, purely based on the descriptions in top-10 (or top whatever) lists.
     
  6. Maark Abbott

    Maark Abbott Journeyed there and back again

    Yep, because it was the sequel to another top-10 book that was TRASH.
     
  7. Silvion Night

    Silvion Night Sir Readalot Staff Member

    Hmm, I wonder which series you are referring to. :p
     
  8. Maark Abbott

    Maark Abbott Journeyed there and back again

    Three seconds have passed. How many of my comments can your Silvion Night deflect? Twenty? Thirty? However many it is, it isn't enough.
     
  9. ExTended

    ExTended Hired Nicomo Cosca, famed soldier of fortune

    There might be numerous reasons for someone not to read a book and to be OK with his decision to the extent of not shying away from his deliberate choice when speaking to others.

    For instance for a very long time I've been avoiding the Discworld books like the plague, because I know my taste and satire for the sake of satire isn't my cup of tea. I'd say the only reason I am now giving this series a chance is because I've watched and very much liked the Going Postal mini-series. So I've decided to myself that I'd try to be more forgiving about the too heavy humor and instead try to find the stories hidden between it, etc.

    I've been also avoiding Gaiman so far, although I know how much people like him. The praise he gets for being unconventional and socially clever keeps me away from his works so far. I just don't like social commentary in my fantasy - If I wanted such a thing, I know where the news TV channels are, same with show concentrated on it. I read fantasy because I like certain kind of stories, which preferably aren't burdened by events from the real world. Sometimes I am willing to ignore that preference of mine, but it takes a conscious choice and I don't find it odd that I am staying away from an author who isn't targeting exactly my demographic among the fantasy crowd.

    Sometimes I'd just be wary of the author's style or reputation for certain mannerisms in his works, or the premise would be something I cannot care less about - probably half of the linked top 25 falls somehow into some of those categories. That won't necessarily mean that I'd avoid them at any cost, it's just that they are not my top priority, while still being somewhere in my TBR. I have composed my TBR very carefully, it's based on reviews on this site, opinions from people who's tastes I know are similar to mine, FB and Reddit discussions and recommendation and other forums, etc. My TBR is like 560 books long as of my last count of it, and the books that aren't on the top of it are simply not there, because of reasons. So when you make an informed decision about something, you feel fine when your decision is being challenged, because you didn't make it on a whim or something, but based on personal preferences.

    So yeah, I personally wouldn't blame someone for being open about not reading a book - I'd just not give any credence in case this person tries to review/judge/recommend the book in question.
     
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  10. Peat

    Peat Journeyed there and back again

    Let's see...

    I was avoiding Name of the Wind based on internet chatter about its strengths and weaknesses, and a read of the kindle sample that didn't enthral me, then I found it for a quid in a charity shop so I brought it. I may even read it.

    That's it actually. Everything else in the top 10 I've tried to read. Admittedly I only got a couple of chapters into Sanderson's thingieamejig, which isn't much of a try.

    Scrolling down...

    Dunno why, but Heroes Die never grabs me as a blurb.

    I'm very ho-hum on whether I'll read Prince of Thorns based on internet rep.

    I'd probably pick up both for a quid in a charity shop though. I can't think of any books where, solely on the author's and book's reputation, I wouldn't.
     
  11. Khartun

    Khartun Journeyed there and back again

    Just my opinion but Heroes Die is fantastic. I don't know about the blurb and the cover is terrible but it is a really good book.
     
    • Agree Agree x 2
  12. Darwin

    Darwin Journeyed there and back again

    It's a problem. I did it too, for about half the main list and the majority of books on other important bfb lists. Then I actually tried some of the stuff I'd been avoiding and loved most of it. On the other hand, some of the entries that initially drew me in turned out to be duds (for me), like assassins apprentice.

    Maybe writing samples would provide a better preview? Idk. Or we could just berate people when they talk like that and insist they try every damn book on the top 25 before we offer other recommendations :)
     
  13. Andrew.J

    Andrew.J Hired Nicomo Cosca, famed soldier of fortune

    I've always avoided Robin Hobb for some reason. I keep hearing praise for her book series, but I can't bring myself to start Assassin's Apprentice. Maybe it's the book cover or the blurb, but is seems really... bland? I don't know.

    Discworld too. It's ginormous.
     
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  14. Ryan W. Mueller

    Ryan W. Mueller Ran bridges next to Kaladin

    I can't imagine what you're referring to...

    Also, I can't remember. Did you finish Scarlet Tides by David Hair? I recently did, and while I enjoyed it overall, I felt like it's a bit discordant. The writing style and general story have more of a YA feel to me (which isn't necessarily a bad thing), but then he throws in all kinds of sex as if to say, "No, this isn't YA. Honestly!" I'll read the rest of the series most likely. The positives outweigh the negatives, but it isn't anywhere near my list of favorites.
     
  15. Cyphon

    Cyphon Ran bridges next to Kaladin

    I can't say that I am confused by the question, but aren't all of our choices mostly intentional? I always assumed we all do the same thing. Read reviews and descriptions and make as informed a decision as possible when deciding what to read and what not to read.

    I know 2 things for me I really scrutinize now before picking up a book are fantasies by female authors or foreign authors (I am American). It doesn't stem from any sort of sexism or uber patriotism or anything like that, I have just read a lot of books and you see patterns in what you like and don't like, with exceptions of course. For example I love Harry Potter which is both a female author and foreign. And it just so happens that a lot of my "misses" were written by women or foreign authors.

    So yeah, there are a lot of books I intentionally avoid depending on what I read about it beforehand.
     
  16. Darth Tater

    Darth Tater Journeyed there and back again

    The thing is...I feel like I've read a lot of fantasy books compared to most people. Howeve, I haven't read nearly as many fantasy books as most members on this forum.

    On Ben's lists:
    Top 50 epic. 20/50
    Top 100: 34/100
    Top 50 Standalone. 10/50

    Following the link provided in the initial post I have read 7/10. The three I haven't read are

    #4 Game of Thrones-why do I dodge it? I actually believed he killed off like 75% of the main characters. I hear that is far from accurate. However why start a series that will never be completed? Besides, I won't give the bastard my $50 bucks.So instead of having $65, 456, 770 in the bank he will "ONLY" realize $65, 456,720. HAH! That will teach him.

    #8 The Blade Itself. * mental note. *Add it to my TBR*. Not sure why I keep dodging this one.

    #9 Harry Potter. I know the books are better but I already enjoyed all the movies. I avoided it beforehand because I thought they were exclusively kids books. Alas, too late now.
     
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  17. Andrew.J

    Andrew.J Hired Nicomo Cosca, famed soldier of fortune

    Your numbers are still damn impressive. I had a long period where I only played video games. I got back into reading only 2 years ago. It often seems overwhelming how many books there're to choose from. Can't complain, though. :)

    The first 3 Game of Thrones books are brilliant. I think it's worth giving it
    a shot just for these books.

    The First Law is very good as well, but the standalones after the trilogy is where Abercrombie truly shines, imo. Wonderful books.

    I really like HP too. But I'm not sure how well the books hold up. I read them as a kid. Book #4 (Goblet of Fire) is where things kick into gear, though. The beginning is much lighter.
     
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  18. Silvion Night

    Silvion Night Sir Readalot Staff Member

    Strangely enough I like the earlier books better. They're more innocent in a way.
     
  19. Maark Abbott

    Maark Abbott Journeyed there and back again

    I did yeah. And to be honest the constant, incredibly lewd sex scenes and vindictive stupidity of some of the characters were a big put-off for me. I mean, yeah, sure. Graphic sex has a place in books. My own work has someone being dildo fucked to death with his own frozen and dismembered phallus, after all. But Hair really takes it to eleven with his engorged, puffy nipples, puckered anuses, and dribbly mouth-tadpoles. It detracted from my enjoyment a lot in book 2, so whether I finish the series will depend on how desperate I get for new material.
     
  20. kenubrion

    kenubrion Journeyed there and back again

    Yeah, I'm implying that avoiding a top 10 book based on the opinions of others is nonsense. So stop it. Right now.

    As to the suggestion of sampling above, all of these books have a sample available from Amazon. Thought this was universally known.
     
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