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  1. #1
    Laura Gibson

    "The Devil Wears Prada"

    Anyone pick up this book? I love the title but the first few pages, and the jacket cover blurb didn't pique my interest so I bought Anita Shreve's new book entitled, "All He Ever Wanted." Any fans out there? Her last two novels are very different from the others, and reading this one feels more like work than anything. I'm on page 15 and can hardly give a flip about where this plot and/or character is going. I generally go about fifty pages before throwing in the towel on a book...Lately, I can't a book with great characters, prose, and plot except for the one I am writing of course *wink wink* Maybe I should get tested for ADD, even though I'm almost 35. *sigh*

  2. #2
    mike fulton

    Re: "The Devil Wears Prada"


    Don't feel bad. Toni Morrison does the same thing to me. I've read all of her novels (except "Paradise") and a lot of her academic writing. Two pages and I am out like a light.

    It isn't ADD. It's an incompatibility between the reader and the writer.

  3. #3
    linton lewis

    Re: "The Devil Wears Prada"

    I hear you, laura. What gets me is buying a book and have it be a waste of time to finish it.

    There is so much to read and so little time.

    Mike, glad to here that about Morrison. I've always kicked myself for not reading her. I feel pretty much the same way aout Jane Smiley.

    y'all come

  4. #4
    Chris Graham

    50 Page Test

    It's great to hear that someone else uses the '50 Page Test.' Regardless of the author's past writing credits or who recommended the book to me, if it doesn't have me interested in 50 pages it gets tossed.

  5. #5
    Pamela Taylor

    Re: 50 Page Test

    I always feel awful tossing a book. THe last one I did that was an award winning book that has been making a huge fuss. I hated it, saw no point, and at last said, I've got better stuff to read, and still feel guilty. Funny thing, I met the author and hated him too! lol.

    Good luck on finding a good book!


  6. #6
    Jack Klaw


    The only TM book I've read is Paradise. Heavy reading, about ten times denser than, say for instance, a Robert B. Parker murder mystery, but I liked it.

  7. #7
    mike fulton

    Re: Paradise

    Wow. Paradise was the only one of Morrison's which was a critical and financial bomb. That might indicate that it's better than her others.

  8. #8
    Laura Gibson

    Re: Best sellers that suck

    I really hated "The Lovely Bones," and am taking that (along with Anita's new book) to get a trade in at the used bookstore! God, how I love it there!!! There's a couch and everything!

  9. #9

    Re: The Best Endings

    I rather liked the lovely bones, but probably because I was into her idea of heaven. And the only TM I read was Beloved, and that was in my honors English class in high school. I remember we were assigned the first chapter and then in class it was a revelation to me that what she had been talking about was a ghost. But in the same class we drew pictures of the symbolic images in the book, so I think over all it probably wasn't the best atmosphere to read it in.
    But I think the 50 page rule is a good one to keep in mind in your own writing. I always think that is the beginnings and ends that make or break a book. A strong beginning gets you hooked, and a strong ending gives you your lasting impression of the book. Too many times I've read a book and the ending disapointed me, like it was 2/3 of a good book. Even if there are slower parts (emotionally or plot-wise) in the middle, I think if you have a strong opening and ending the overall book will be perceived as good. The really hard part is writing them, especially the endings. What are some people's favorite endings and why do you think they were good? For me, the one I was most impressed with was Hemmingway's the Sun Also Rises, which was enjoyable enough to read, but for most of the book I wasn't reall all that impressed (with the plot and characters, not the story-telling itself). And then the last line is "isn't it pretty to think so?" That line stuck with me, and made me see the entire book in a different light. A good ending for romances are the right people getting together in the right way, for mystery/suspense it's getting all the peices together in a satisfying and unique way, but for the other kinds of books, outside of those genres, I think it's harder to find the ending because there is no clear way to end them. There's no mystery to solve, no final romantic moment. There is no rule, to formula to follow, which is why I think they are so hard to write. Unless you can pull a Hemmingway and come up with a really good last line. or even Mitchell, with her "I'll think about that tomorrow, tomorrow is another day."
    Again, what are your favorite endings and why are they memorable to you?

  10. #10
    Laura Gibson

    Re: The Best Endings

    I couldn't tell you, all my favorite authors have crappy endings (Stephen King, Anita Shreve, Janet Fitch). I have trouble with my middles, more than beginnings and endings. For me, that's the pisser...

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