AW Amazon Store

If this site is helpful to you,
Please consider a voluntary subscription to defray ongoing expenses.


 

Welcome to the AbsoluteWrite Water Cooler! Please read The Newbie Guide To Absolute Write

Page 2 of 2 FirstFirst 12
Results 26 to 31 of 31

Thread: The Girl on the Train is NOT "excellent:...or is it? What makes literature good/excellent?

  1. #26
    practical experience, FTW cornflake's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Posts
    13,627
    Quote Originally Posted by Jan74 View Post
    Is that how people chose which books to read? Oh its like Gone Girl so I'll read Girl on the Train? I don't think I've ever read a book because its been marketed as similar to a book I did like. It makes me wonder how people chose which books deserve their time. I'm fairly skeptical when I'm told "you have to read this, its sooooo good." blah! My best friend raved on and on about 50 shades of grey.....and I took it out from the library....and promptly returned it to the library only half read. Yet millions of women would disagree with my assessment of that novel. I didn't read Girl on the train, but I did watch the movie and found the entire thing completely unrealistic, most likely I would hate the novel, but I usually can't stand novels where the women leads are pathetic and spineless.

    Writing is similar to music. There are tonnes of talented bands out there and the talent can't be denied...yet I don't like their music. What makes "good" music and who decides. In the end the fans decide. Just because "I" don't like a novel doesn't mean it isn't good. The same would go for art. Maybe I think Monet is the best but someone else thinks Picasso is the best. Taste is fickle and individual. Picasso will never be Michelangelo but who says which is better? I'm rambling now....so those are just a few of my thoughts on the subject.
    Marketing is marketing, but I certainly have had plenty of friends tell me I'd like something because 'it's like....' I've also found music because it's like a band I like, and art because it's like art I like. I like surrealism. I found Dali as a small kid, and didn't know he was a surrealist. A couple years later, I found Magritte and etc...

    I've recommended countless books to people based on what they like -- that's my first question if someone asks for a recommendation, 'what books do you like?'

    This is the basis of so many things, from Netflix and Pandora and etc. recommendations to general social stuff. 'Do you like Olive Garden? No? Oh, good, I know a great Italian place."

  2. #27
    figuring it all out EmilyEmily's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2016
    Posts
    86
    Quote Originally Posted by Putputt View Post
    If I'd come across TGotT on its own merits, as its own book, I think I would've enjoyed it a LOT more. I would've come in without much expectations and I would've been pleasantly surprised, because I think it's competently written and I found the characters interesting enough to keep reading.

    BUT. But.

    That was not what happened. Because the ONLY reason I picked it up was the constant comparison to Gone Girl. And Gone Girl is an amazing book. Complex, brilliant characters, a huge amount of research, perfect execution. The Girl on the Train, while it's not baaaad, is nowhere near as good as Gone Girl.

    And so instead of enjoying a decent read, I end up feeling cheated yet again. I say "yet again" because after Gone Girl, I read a whole slew of books in the same genre to satiate my hunger, and there is a long and bitter trail of "UGH, this NOT the next Gone Girl, fuck you and your marketing ploy!!" books behind me.

    *sigh*

    Any book recs that a fan of Gone Girl might enjoy?


    Oooooo, yes! Night Film by Marisha Pessl. Please read and then come back so we can discuss.

  3. #28
    Herder of Hamsters AW Admin's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Location
    On the Server
    Posts
    13,097
    Quote Originally Posted by Jan74 View Post
    Is that how people chose which books to read? Oh its like Gone Girl so I'll read Girl on the Train? I don't think I've ever read a book because its been marketed as similar to a book I did like.
    The basis of hand-selling, whether it's books, music, or wine or or or . . . relies on knowing what the customer has previously enjoyed.

    If I tell a bookseller or a librarian or a friend that I love Ngaio Marsh and Agatha Christie, they might suggest Dorothy Sayers.

    If I say I love Heinlein and Asimov, they might suggest Greg Bear.

  4. #29
    practical experience, FTW MaeZe's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2016
    Location
    Ralph's side of the island.
    Posts
    3,959
    Quote Originally Posted by Tazlima View Post
    ... I do occasionally go to the bookstore and just browse the shelves to see what jumps out at me, but even then there's going to be some serious narrowing of choices simply based on what section I choose to browse.
    I browse the library catalogue by genre and book blurbs. I don't recall who recommended GotT to me. I'm sure I saw a recommendation somewhere. When I was checking it out from the library, the librarian said it was a good book.

    I tend to get a slew of books but take most of them back after they fail to interest me by the first couple of chapters. That's one benefit of using the library. I'm amazed at how many books I simply don't like when I try them. All those published books and few I consider good. Sigh.

  5. #30
    permanently suctioned to Buz's leg Putputt's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Location
    No longer in Cali :(
    Posts
    4,743
    Quote Originally Posted by Jan74 View Post
    Is that how people chose which books to read? Oh its like Gone Girl so I'll read Girl on the Train? I don't think I've ever read a book because its been marketed as similar to a book I did like. It makes me wonder how people chose which books deserve their time. I'm fairly skeptical when I'm told "you have to read this, its sooooo good." blah!
    There is a reason why agents often ask for comp titles in queries. It's *one* of the ways you could use to narrow down which books you want to read. Whenever I come across a real gem of a book which sweeps me away completely, I end up hungry for more books like that. But it's not the only way. I also check out books based on... friends' recs, awards lists, marketing buzz, book covers (the marketing buzz and book covers are mostly for diverse books. If there is a PoC on the cover, I will at the very least browse the book's Amazon page).

    Since I live in a city where the library is abysmal and the bookshops have very limited choices, the Look Inside feature on Amazon is a godsend.

    Quote Originally Posted by EmilyEmily View Post
    [/B]Oooooo, yes! Night Film by Marisha Pessl. Please read and then come back so we can discuss.
    Haha, okay! Thanks for the rec!
    Kallithrix: "you're like pot noodle - you know it's dirty, unwholesome, trashy drunk food, but.... you just want it in your mouf"

    Wee hippo has a message for everyone: DIIIIIE.

  6. #31
    practical experience, FTW Jan74's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2017
    Location
    Canada
    Posts
    610
    Quote Originally Posted by Tazlima View Post
    I'm curious, then, how do YOU decide which books to read? I don't know that I'd choose a specific book simply because it was marketed as similar to another individual book, but I know which genres I tend to enjoy, and what's that except a broader version of the same thing?

    If I had to choose between two books to read, one romance and one horror, and the genre was the only thing I knew about either of them, I'd go with the horror every time. My sister-in-law would just as unfailingly choose the romance. My boyfriend would avoid both like the plague...he prefers non-fiction, particularly history and biographies.

    As far as recommendations, "It's sooo good," may not be a good indicator of whether one particular person will like a book, but "It's right up your alley," said by someone who knows your tastes, is a pretty safe bet. Not 100% guaranteed, but certainly better than "I liked it, therefore you must too," which makes about as much sense as the line my mother gave us when we were kids: "I'm cold; put on a sweater."

    I do occasionally go to the bookstore and just browse the shelves to see what jumps out at me, but even then there's going to be some serious narrowing of choices simply based on what section I choose to browse.
    Where our camp is the local general store that sells everything from minnows to wine has a shelf of donated books that are free for the taking...I discovered Betty Smith and Lavyrle Spencer from that shelf of used books I don't buy very many books, I'm a library gal....so when I began writing I started going to amazon books and looking through the different genre's and basically surfing authors and reading the "look inside" feature. I discovered Alice Hoffman, Sarah Addison Allen and Kristen Hannah this way. When I stumble over a book I like I browse my library online and see if its on the shelf and then I take it out. I discovered Elin Hilderbrand because somebody left one of her novels on the table at the family camp so it was accidental.
    Quote Originally Posted by Putputt View Post
    There is a reason why agents often ask for comp titles in queries. It's *one* of the ways you could use to narrow down which books you want to read. Whenever I come across a real gem of a book which sweeps me away completely, I end up hungry for more books like that. But it's not the only way. I also check out books based on... friends' recs, awards lists, marketing buzz, book covers (the marketing buzz and book covers are mostly for diverse books. If there is a PoC on the cover, I will at the very least browse the book's Amazon page).

    Since I live in a city where the library is abysmal and the bookshops have very limited choices, the Look Inside feature on Amazon is a godsend.

    Haha, okay! Thanks for the rec!
    Agreed...I love the look inside on Amazon, it has lead me to so many wonderful books!

    I can see now why the marketing would want a comparison. And if somebody here said to me...Oh you love Alice Hoffman...check out xyz...I would. I think sometimes a book can get too hyped up and then its a let down. Or the opposite, a book can be looked over because of reviews. When I first heard about Harry Potter, I heard negative things that it was this horrible story about a boy living under the stairs and this person didn't even finish the book. I got a copy and wasn't sucked in immediately but I gave it an honest good chance, and I'm glad I did because I loved the entire series. The person I knew who had given up on the novel I told her it was a fantastic book and to give it another chance. She did and she is a huge Harry fan

    "You fail only if you stop writing" ~Ray Bradbury~
    "The road to hell is paved with adverbs" ~Stephen King~
    WIP Romance or Women's fiction, hopefully by the end I'll know.
    "If I waited for perfection, I would never write a word." ~Margaret Atwood~
    "There is no greater agony than bearing an untold story inside you." ~Mary Angelou~


Page 2 of 2 FirstFirst 12

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •  
Custom Search