What Makes You Not Finish a Book?

What makes you not finish a book? My reasons come under two headings: content and style. Under content, I quit reading if there’s too much cursing or too much graphic or inappropriate content. I can’t give you any hard and fast rules. I just know that if I’m reading a story and those things make me fed up or revolted, I quit. Also, I can’t stand to read a book where children are in horrible danger or killed. Those plots makes me sick.

Style is entirely different. I usually close a book before the end if I can’t connect with the main character. Often that’s because there’s nothing out of the ordinary about the character. I’ve read about this kind of character a hundred times before. But other times, I quit reading because the characters don’t act like human beings, in that they behave in a way that’s convenient to the plot, not like a person would in reality. Ridiculous plot twists also turn me off. I was reading a mystery from 1938 that used hypnotism as a fairly minor plot point. Any enjoyment I’d derived from reading the book went out the window. I don’t think hypnotism was original or believable even in 1938.

I’d love to hear from you about this topic. What makes not finish a book?

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Book Vs. Movie

Book vs. movie is the age-old–or at least 100 year old–controversy of which art works best for telling a story and if the movie holds true to the book or merely borrows the title and a few characters.

Two excellent movie adaptations of novels are The Outsiders and The Maltese Falcon. Both stick closely to their original books, not adding any scenes or characters. The movie The Maltese Falcon eliminates a minor character, and you would never notice. In movie adaptations of The Lord of the Rings trilogy, some characters were written out and others had their roles beefed up, and the script added scenes not in the books. But no less a fan than my brother-in-law, who was a total Tolkien nut, loved the movies. They still captured the spirit of the books.

Very rarely does the movie improve on the book. Death on the Nile (1978) came up with a much better plot point than the book in which the detective tricks the culprits to reveal themselves.

Of course, there are legions of movie adaptations that the fans of the books hated or at least feel the movie didn’t do their book justice.

So let me hear from you! What’s your opinion of book vs. movie? Which movie adaptations do you love? Which do you hate? What books do you think should be made into movies?

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