When a finished book has wasted precious hours of my life or yours, aside from being snide and contributing to the increasingly ugly public discourse, what do we do with our disappointment?
Any regular reader of this blog knows I've avoided naming those books and their authors. But after recently coming across this groaner - "Stimulated by the elixir of hope, I breathed deeply the crisp air of freedom" - I've decided to modify my policy slightly. Effective immediately, I will permit my doppelganger Mr. Id to out truly bad writing using these guidelines:
*The book was finished. The sentence in italics above is close to the end of a novel of lifeless prose, one in which the dialogue largely serves a redundant purpose - reminding the reader what happened earlier in the book. Why didn't I stop sooner? Based on a promising start and the subject matter, I kept thinking the author would find a way back - didn't happen. For the record, I'm not one of those people who feel compelled to finish every book I start. Still, any future snark (under Mr. Id's moniker) will be confined to books I finish. Fair is fair.
* The title and author will remain unnamed. (Even Mr. Id has compassion)
* Examples will be provided. "We are never allowed to forget that some books are badly written; we should remember that sometimes they are badly read, too" - Nick Hornby. Tired cliches like "It just wasn't my cup of tea" or "It just didn't hold my interest" are just more bad writing as well as bad reading. Mr. Id will specify what it was about the unnamed book that made it a waste of time.
All to what end, you ask? Although I don't let him out often, Mr. Id needs to come out of his cave every so often. Join him if you like but please follow the guidelines.