Would you continue a fantasy novel if it made you feel nothing?

Discussion in 'Fantasy' started by MorteTorment, Jul 2, 2017.

  1. MorteTorment

    MorteTorment Knows Who John Uskglass Is

    If you were reading a book that's at least somewhat entertaining, and you're halfway through and...

    Nothing annoys you, the characters are likable, but you don't care about anything that happens to them, despite the fact that depressing stuff is constantly happening to them and they're barely surviving, and you see yourself giving a review saying that it got old towards the end, and you have a few hundred pages left, but you don't feel like you're suffering, would you continue the fantasy novel?
  2. Darth Tater

    Darth Tater Journeyed there and back again

    Nope! I don't care what happens in a world where I don't care what happens to the people in it. Why should I? That is possibly the number one reason I will quit a series.
  3. MorteTorment

    MorteTorment Knows Who John Uskglass Is

    you're right, I was more interested in finishing the book than reading it, and I need to stop doing that to myself. Thanks.
  4. Ryan W. Mueller

    Ryan W. Mueller Ran bridges next to Kaladin

    I tend to run into that with a lot of Grimdark. All this violent and bloody stuff happens, and I shrug because I don't care about any of it. If you don't make me care about your characters, it will be hard for me to like the book. I'll probably finish it if it isn't too long, though.

    This is not to say these authors are doing anything wrong. They are obviously very good at what they do. I'm just not the intended audience.
  5. MorteTorment

    MorteTorment Knows Who John Uskglass Is

    Oh it's Watergivers is grimdark alright. Althought it's not really gory perse(It feels like it wants to be adult yet have its adult content toned down outside of rape, which is done behind the scenes) There's no swearing, and no big graphic death scenes. Int fact I'm not sure if there's been any "onscreen" deaths, more people are just sorta found dead(and by that I mean one whole person)...which when I think about it kinda kills the intensity for me, as the death is far too subtle, which stops the fact that the characters lives are in danger from affecting me.

    yeah, on second thought maybe it's not grimdark, and it's probably young adult. Shame.

    Anyways, I think deep down I knew I was gonna stop reading, I just needed someone to tell me that I was making the right decision. I should have trusted my gut, and not given the second book a chance. Ah well.

    Hmm, what to read next?
  6. Darth Tater

    Darth Tater Journeyed there and back again

    I'm Sorry. I misunderstood you and thought you were asking whether I would continue to read future books in a SERIES. Like you, I DO force myself to read and finish any particular book I BOUGHT but I don't buy any more books if it is in a series . If it was a FREE classic or something I delete it from my Kindle unless I get past around 25 pages

    Stupid rules, OCD, personal games, and/or it makes me more careful what I buy. These are all very very DUMB because I waste time and even "torture" myself in some cases.
  7. Andrew.J

    Andrew.J Hired Nicomo Cosca, famed soldier of fortune

    I rarely, if ever, finish books I don't enjoy. If I don't care for the characters, I still try to find some redeeming qualities and focus on them. If there's nothing that interests me, I drop it. I used to feel guilty about that when I was younger, but life's too short to read books you're not finding to your liking.
    I also have no problem putting down books or series I can't commit to reading properly. I did that with Malazan (didn't finish Memories of Ice) and Witcher most recently. I love both series to bits. But right now I wouldn't do them justice if I read them off-handedly. I might return to Witcher quite soon, but Malazan will have to wait for another year, I think.
  8. Nuomer1

    Nuomer1 Journeyed there and back again

    And that, very nicely put, sums up why I have pretty well stopped reading anything that could be classified as 'grimdark'.
    I have seen some people putting the grimdark label on 'Lies of Locke Lamora' - and either I want to debate the classification, or it is the only exception I have come across so far to my rule stated above.

    Strangely, I do read some YA (but only while it is F or SF, not if it degenerates into slushy Romance). Does this correlate with me being a Junior School teacher (science specialist) for a significant portion of my career? (now retired, for anyone who didn't already know). Perish the thought, but does this indicate the sort of character I am likely to care about? I find this sort of self-analysis rather worrying!
  9. Andrew.J

    Andrew.J Hired Nicomo Cosca, famed soldier of fortune

    I wouldn't consider Lies of Locke Lamora grimdark at all. It has its moments and a torture scene or two, but it's nowhere near as dark as most, if not all, other grimdark books I've read. At least I don't see it as such. I remember it as quite light-hearted and fun. An adventure story more than anything else.

    There are some great children's and YA books out there. Decent YA is harder to find and I usually don't bother, but I'm sure some folks here can testify to that. And good literature is good literature, it doesn't age and can be read any enjoyed by all, imo.
  10. Silvion Night

    Silvion Night Sir Readalot Staff Member

    I agree with Andrew. I'd say it's a heist/adventure story set in an urban fantasy world.
  11. Nuomer1

    Nuomer1 Journeyed there and back again

    Thanks - I agree, but I phrased my earlier post carefully because I have seen that classification used. Not sure why.
  12. Nuomer1

    Nuomer1 Journeyed there and back again

    Further . . . Just discovered this page - a Goodreads list of top Grimdarks. The top 50 includes 'Lies of Locke Lamora' along with quite a lot of Abercrombie (which I also quite enjoyed) and a number of DNFs (and many that I didn't properly start, gave up in less than 10 pages from the sample!).
    I think the classification is somewhat suspect - or maybe that quality of writing (Lynch, Abercrombie) over-rides my basic lack of interest in that particular sub-genre.
  13. Theophania

    Theophania Hired Nicomo Cosca, famed soldier of fortune

    I very rarely 'feel nothing'. Happy, excited, interested, vaguely satisfied, relaxed, frustrated, bored, really effing p'ed off... If a book is not adding to my life in a positive way, it gets booted. End of. At whatever stage. My record is one paragraph. Life is too short to carry on reading books that are not giving you something positive - whether that is information, enjoyment, or whatever.
  14. TomTB

    TomTB The Master Tweeter Staff Member

    That must've been one bloody awful paragraph! Blows my 100 page rule out the water ..
  15. Theophania

    Theophania Hired Nicomo Cosca, famed soldier of fortune

    Actually, it happened twice.

    Once with a book written in the present tense. I loathe books written in the present tense. I have to really, really want to read the book to be able to stand it. This book did not make the cut.
    Once with a book where the writer had obviously decided to give a loving home to every adverb and adjective cut out by every other writer and editor in the English-speaking world.
  16. afa

    afa Journeyed there and back again

    Abercrombie is, indeed, widely considered 'Grimdark.' In fact, Abercrombie's somewhat tongue-in-cheek Twitter handle is "LordGrimdark." Other authors (or at least series) I would consider Grimdark would be Mark Lawrence (The Broken Empire), GRRM to an extent (ASoIaF), Luke Scull (The Grim Company), etc.

    The Lies of Locke Lamora, in my opinion, is definitely not Grimdark.

    Now, as for the topic at hand - yes, I would probably finish the book. I generally don't like leaving books unfinished. My only exception is if the book really, really bored me, or I found something very annoying about it.
  17. Maark Abbott

    Maark Abbott Journeyed there and back again

    I actually did and tanked through a further seven hundred pages of the slog of slogs. Cil-Aujas seemed like a pleasant skip through a summery field by comparison.
  18. Bill Door

    Bill Door Listens to The Unbeliever whine about life

    Yes. I wouldn't read it as quick as a page turner, but I'd finish it.
  19. Anti_Quated

    Anti_Quated Hired Nicomo Cosca, famed soldier of fortune

    I doubt it would make me feel nothing. Even dry old Thucydides gets me animated and carried away with fanciful approximations and colourful musings on he scandalous furor Kleon's demagoguery must have propagated in the polis.

    I'm a rather imaginative chap and usually don't struggle to find an engaging or redemptive quality in my reading. I pushed through the Broken Empire trilogy despite knowing from the first few chapters of the first book that it was not to my liking.
  20. MorteTorment

    MorteTorment Knows Who John Uskglass Is

    I'm kinda curious what the book was. And yeah, I've done that before with some really bad books.

    There was this book about Mages where it opened with a fart joke. If I ever find out what the book was and the author. I'll be very tempted to send the author a tweet thanking him for letting me know in the first SENTENCE that the book wasnt't for me.

    There was also this urban fantasy set in a world of darkness which went by something like this.

    Sentence 1: Main character is a female and she was out for a jog, and her sweat was SEXY!

    Me: Ok...

    Sentence 2: Yeah, the sweat was really sexy.

    Me: That's great, can we move on?

    Sentence 3: I mean it was really really sexy sweat.

    Me: Ok, just fuck off!

    Nowadays I might have actually continued that book because I can laugh at books this terrible. Speaking of which, I should check out Anita Blake sometime.

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