Friday, February 19, 2010
Ah, Those Readers
The myriad opinions of readers never cease to amuse me. Reactions to novels vary widely for two simple reasons: (1) personal taste in story and characters, and (2) personal experience. Both points are powerful, but point two is the dominant one. To a large degree, personal taste in story is built from one's past experiences. And since we've all lived different lives there's no way to please everyone.
Take a look at these excerpts from my reader reviews--all for the same book. (I'll let you figure out which one.)
This "book" is absolutely terrible. I could not even force myself to finish it.
This book has you on the edge of your seat. I loved it!
Very dissapointing (sic) book! ... drags along.
Wow! Page turning suspense.
Annoyingly dramatic with weak female characters. lack (sic) of character development.
The story is very fast paced and keeps you really interested.
Grabbed me at once. If I were still teaching mystery writing, I'd require my students to read this one.
Kept hoping for a twist in the plot, something, ANYTHING.
Has a surprising twist.
This is terrific storytelling.
Exciting, intriguing, and fascinating twists.
The author chose non-traditional spellings for Kaitlan and her grandfather Darell. It was distracting.
Fast-paced and gritty. The book flows so fast some readers may overlook plot subtleties.
The obvious thrill ride really got to me. But it was the more subtle lines that got my blood pumping.
Characters have never been one of Collins' strong points. She seems especially fond of creating main characters with oatmeal for brains. [Brandilyn note: I love that last line! It's one of my favorites.]
The characterization is deep and multifaceted.
In-depth descriptions into the criminal mindset ... high octane, quick-paced storyline.
Deliciously scary, completely engrossing.
... born again Christian anti-abortion hard sell ... complete pap. [Abortion is barely mentioned. There is a character who finds herself pregnant and desperately wants the baby.]
So many opinions! And then there are those readers whose opinions are the only ones that matter. Everyone else is just ... uninformed:
I don't understand all these five-star reviews. Those people must not read a lot of suspense.
And finally I leave you with this one in its entirety, typed just as it appears.
I REALLY WAS DISAPPOINTED AND A LITTLE CONFUSED. THE PLOT DRUG OUT WITH A LONG DRAWN OUT CRAZY ENDING. WHO WROTE THE SEQUENCES IN THE BOOK IF GDAD COULDN'T WRITE PAST PAGE ONE?
Readers. Gotta love 'em.