Sunday, 8 May 2016

Reasons I didn’t read your novel

Inspired by biblioklept.

1/ You write plain prose.
2/ You write unreadable purple prose.
3/ Too long.
4/ You don't have my interest even after 100 pages.
5/ I made the mistake of reading the introduction and was out of breath when finished with it.
6/ It's ngôn tình (term for Chinese internet romance novels).
7/ You barely read, and write from experience.
8/ You write in Chinese and I have the English and Norwegian translation but not Vietnamese.
9/ Your novel is a sequel or prequel or spin-off or modernisation of a classic work.
10/ Worse if that happens to be a favourite of mine.
11/ You're compared to Jane Austen.
12/ Or Tolstoy.
13/ So much praise that I'd probably prefer the novel in my head. 
14/ Banal and unintentionally filled with clichés.
15/ Too "experimental".
16/ It's young adult fiction.
17/ Your novel about high school is compared to The Catcher in the Rye.
18/ Too unreal and unconvincing (not in the sense that it's not realistic, but in the sense that things don't make sense in the world of the book).
19/ Too deeply rooted in realism- "pure", bare social realism.
20/ Your novel is morally instructive? I'm happy with my immoralities.
21/ You avoid writing "I blushed" by going for "I must be the colour of the Communist Manifesto".
22/ Your novel sounds depressing and I happen to be depressed.
23/ You sound like a feminazi, with a shade of misandry.
24/ You're a male writer in the 21st century and say you have no interest in books by/about women.
25/ Your sex scenes make me laugh.
26/ Or want to watch porn instead.
27/ You're praised for being bold, honest, not afraid of being controversial.
28/ Don't you think it'd do your novel an injustice to read it right after a Tolstoy, Melville or Nabokov?
29/ You write about the Vietnam war.
30/ You think Mao's wonderful.
31/ Or Stalin. Or Lenin. Or Marx.
32/ Or Hồ Chí Minh.
33/ You make me think of Haruki Murakami.
34/ After 10 pages I decide you're more like a storyteller than a writer.
35/ I'll watch the film instead.
36/ I've watched the more-famous film.
37/ Your novel's part of a trilogy.
38/ You write about the experience of immigrants and their children.
39/ Too much passion and rage.
40/ Too little passion.
41/ A minor Tolstoy seems less like a waste of time.
42/ Your characters, except the villain, are all stupid, and their stupidity is needed for the plot. 
43/ I don't recognise the title.
44/ The pages are yellow and the letters are small.
45/ All of your sentences are so short I get a hiccup.
46/ Your magical realism unties all the knots.
47/ Your characters sound emo.
48/ Your protagonist is a nerd.
49/ I see too much of myself in your novel.
50/ Sounds like misery memoir.
51/ Your novel makes me feel stupid because I don't understand it.
52/ Your novel makes me feel stupid for reading it.
53/ I feel sorry for all the trees that have been sacrificed for your book to be published.
54/ Too vague.
55/ No ambiguity or multiple meaning.
56/ Your main character is a Mary Sue.
57/ Your narrator is a literature student that reduces books such as Pride and Prejudice and Jane Eyre to romance stories.
58/ You know nothing about your characters' jobs (when they have a job).
59/ Your prose reads like translation.
60/ You're fond of name-dropping, which reminds me of other writers I should be reading instead. 
61/ I'm lazy.
62/ I find you lazy.
63/ The person that recommended your novel to me is a fan of Stephenie Meyer or E. L. James.
64/ Too general- details, where are details?
65/ I suddenly remembered that I had something else to do.
66/ Your novel might have worked better as a cartoon.
67/ You're unbelievably ignorant.
68/ You obviously write with a thesaurus.
69/ Neither my university library nor the public library have your novel and I don't feel like buying it.
70/ I feed it to bookworms.
71/ You've written more than 50 books.
72/ You claimed not to have taken to editing.
73/ It's sunny outside and I prefer to go out instead.
74/ I'm drunk.
75/ You sound drunk.
76/ All characters, including the working class, philosophise.
77/ I've read 5 of your novels and know the 6th would be exactly the same as those 5.
78/ Your novel doesn't demand from me any effort.
79/ You cling to lexical teddy bears. 
80/ Oh, 1 character is a robot that has emotions? How original.
81/ You're an AI.
82/ You take pride in being sincere.
83/ Your novel is described as Dickensian, but the word doesn't refer to style or characterisation. 
84/ You're too careless, disrespectful towards readers.
85/ Too serious- why so serious?
86/ Too politically correct.
87/ Your novel makes me doubt the fairness of the world.
88/ I'm envious.
89/ Too many aliens.
90/ All characters refer to the vagina as "hole".
91/ The marginalia are more interesting.
92/ I fancy that I have ADHD.
93/ Another novel of yours has killed the appreciationist in me.
94/ Everyone finds your protagonist- narrator relatable. 
95/ All characters have unusual names. 
96/ Your novel's torn apart by my imaginary dog.
97/ It's not a novel I'd like to be in the middle of reading if I die before completing it.
98/ You're alive.
99/ Worse, I know you.


  1. choke, gak; how about: it isn't waterproof, or, i can't read it through the mud; scraping the poop off of it is too much work; egad, what fools we mortals be...

    1. my bad: should be "these" in the quote by puck in msnd...

  2. Wow! What prompted this diatribe?

  3. @Mudpuddle: That's a good reason.
    @nicrap: Nothing. Just my hypos.
    (I haven't seen you for a while).

    1. Oh, i was working on a story and got terribly stuck ... still am, in a way. Secondly, every time i tried to open your site, pop-ups would open alongside ...

      How are you?

      Btw, talking of hopes...

      ...the day would be when you do a post on "why i never read a novel", or even better, "Why i never read anything." ;)

    2. What pop-ups?
      What's the story about? Good luck with it.
      I can't write that, though, because I almost always read. But I might write something like "Why I don't watch TV series" or... humph... "Why I don't like young adult fiction"... Haha.
      (Why don't you do that yourself?)
      I'm all right. Was sick yesterday, because of something I'd eaten the day before, but now am OK. Going to make a "big" decision though. I may or may not write about it.

    3. I don't know but they all seem very fishy.

      I posted a little bit of it here at my blog.

      Take good care of yourself. Drink lots of water.

      I am sure it will be a good decision, whether you tell us or not is secondary. :)

    4. Hahaha. "Fishy".
      Thank you. I drink lots of coffee- how about that? :p
      Unrelated: today I just had something called is med eggelikør (ice cream with egg liqueur), and it was good.

    5. The number of times i've had ice cream i can count on my fingers.