A Bone to Pick About…

Zorthian, door, blue sculpture

I know pretty much off the top if a book is going to be worth my time, and I don’t feel compelled to continue reading if I don’t like it. Life is too short to spend a minute of it reading bad writing.

Recently I began a novel I wasn’t too sure of. I knew immediately that the writer didn’t know where to put a comma, and some of her phrasing was odd enough that I thought she might not have invested in her education. But the heroine was so compelling, the tone so fascinating, the settings so mysterious…

It was a good story, and I, your local grammar jerk, ignored the comma treachery and read the whole damned thing.

For the last 50 pages, the book was un-put-downable. The story ramped up to an action sequence, followed by a climactic scene between the protagonist and another character, and…that’s it. No resolution. On the next page were the words, “Want to read more?”

I’m sorry, what? You lead me all the way here and don’t give me an ending? No, I do not want to read more.

I don’t care if a story is the first book in a series. It’s still got to have a beginning, a middle, and a satisfying end. Why should I read book two if book one is a disappointment?

You’ve heard of cliff-hangers. That’s for the end of a chapter, not the end of a book.

#Altadena wall#books#flowers#reading#Zorthian Ranch


  1. Diana B - April 14, 2017 @ 15:09

    Sounds like the sort of book that should be thrown with force across the room…

    • Petrea - April 14, 2017 @ 16:01

      I would have enjoyed that, but it was an ebook.

  2. Ron Rosen - April 14, 2017 @ 18:42

    I remember reading Gogol’s Dead Souls. I was very absorbed in it when it abruptly ended with “And here the manuscript breaks off.”

    • Petrea - April 14, 2017 @ 19:14

      Well, thanks for the warning. I can cross that one off my list.

  3. Lowell - April 15, 2017 @ 04:08

    That would drive me mad! Well, madder! I get the same feeling when TV programs leave you hanging, either after an episode or a series.

    • Petrea - April 15, 2017 @ 08:04

      Especially at the end of a season. I know the next season will continue the story, but please give me some kind of resolution.

  4. magiceye - April 15, 2017 @ 04:21

    Must have been a self published book as it is these books, where the editing is pathetic and generally meant to be read only by the author.

    • Petrea - April 15, 2017 @ 08:03

      Not all are pathetic! At least I hope not. I publish my own books, too. The difference is that, regardless of how they publish, serious authors hire a decent editor.

  5. chris - April 15, 2017 @ 04:31

    I am surprised the lack of punctuation didn’t make u feel breathless.. It would of agitated me. btw what is the name of the book–want to google it and see if others felt the same. Now you have my curiosity up!

    • Petrea - April 15, 2017 @ 08:00

      I’ll send the title to you via private message. I’ve been scathing, and as the story was exciting I think this author should be encouraged to write. She needs coaching and editing, though. And there was no lack of punctuation, far from it. There were extra commas in all the wrong places.

  6. Bonnie Schroeder - April 15, 2017 @ 08:01

    So infuriating! I remember when the TV show “The Killing” had a non-ending to its first season. Viewers were outraged. I boycotted the next season and the one after that. John Sayles did the same thing with “Limbo” and although it was part of the theme, I have never forgiven him. I hope you gave the book a no-star review!

    • Petrea - April 15, 2017 @ 08:24

      I haven’t reviewed it yet. I’m thinking about it. I think this author could do well if she was willing to learn a few things.
      Remember “Who shot JR”? That didn’t do any damage to “Dallas.”

  7. William Kendall - April 15, 2017 @ 11:52

    That’s the sort of thing that makes you yell curse words.

    • Petrea - April 15, 2017 @ 13:54

      You know me better than I thought you did!

  8. Shelley - April 15, 2017 @ 23:19

    Oh, how disappointing !! To have such a gripping tale and leave it hanging ~ such a let down of her own work. Clearly the author is a great storyteller. As you’ve said, editing can sort out the other things but all the perfect grammar and punctuation on the planet can’t save a poor story and characters.

    • Petrea - April 16, 2017 @ 08:52

      I agree!

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