January 21, 2018 at 7:55 pm #346740
Here are my top three. 1. Jorie Graham–portentous, insipid page-vomit passing for poetry.
2. Ray Carver–sometimes simple is simple-minded.
3. Toni Morrison–vague and disappointing prose. Kept reading hoping things would get better. They didn’t.
January 21, 2018 at 8:02 pm #655411
Being successful isn’t always about being the best. Sometimes, it’s about being in tune with what the market wants.
It’s sort of like Britney Spears. Not everyone likes her. Hell, a lot of people make fun of her. But she’s earned tens of millions of dollars being Britney Spears.
If that’s overrated, or failure, I’ll take that.
That’s why I rarely participate in these kinds of discussions. They’re not invalid. I just don’t feel that way.
January 21, 2018 at 8:44 pm #655412
“Over-rated” depends on individual tastes, and individual tastes often depend simply on what you’re in the mood for at any given time.
January 21, 2018 at 9:15 pm #655413
E.L. James and Stephenie Meyer. Those count, right?
January 24, 2018 at 2:25 pm #655414
In one of the few industries where your competitors are there to help you succeed, it’s not the greatest idea to bludgeon fellow writers. Even if you do not care for an author’s work, it’s best to just move on because some day you may meet a writer whom would have helped you move forward only for them to not because you lambasted their friend. Just a thought. 🙂
January 24, 2018 at 5:28 pm #655415
I agree, Terry. Everyone has different tastes. Just look at the reader “reviews” (I use the term loosely) on Amazon. Some love a book, others hate it for the very same reason!
It’s perfectly fine to hate a book or an author (or a movie or a director) that other people love. What appeals to them does not appeal to you. But there is no call to go trashing the book or the author, even behind the anonymity of a pseudonym. Just don’t read that book or author. Move on and find something you like.
This applies as much to dead authors as it does to living authors. For example, I love both “Moby Dick” and “Ulysses” and have reread both many times. I know some people hate one or both. That’s fine. Don’t read them, move on, find a book and an author you do like. But don’t trash the books or the authors.
February 3, 2018 at 9:49 pm #655416
I’ve read one novel by Toni Morrison, and consider her to be an excellent writer. She’s great at the craft of writing. She’s won both a Nobel an Pulitzer.
I’ve read a few of Carver’s short stories, and liked them very much.
David Foster Wallace is at the top of my list. If he didn’t swallow a shotgun blast, I’d want to punch him for that dreadful Infinite Jest.
Donna Tartt would be high on the list, based on The Goldfinch, which somehow did win a Pulitzer.
> E.L. James and Stephenie Meyer. Those count, right?
I don’t think many people rate them highly, so probably not.
February 9, 2018 at 12:38 pm #655417
I might get whipped for saying this, but for me Charles Dickens is overrated. Sure, A Christmas Carol is a great story and I enjoy movie adaptations of it every year, but I haven’t found any of his other exciting. I’ve always struggled with the way his sentences flow, I find them overly wordy with too many clauses. Unlike other authors I feel like I have to concentrate harder on understanding the words that he’s used rather than on the story he’s written, and I often have to read sentences again to make sure I’ve got it. I start his books and I give up because I cannot engage with them.
I also feel like he used too many silly-sounding made-up names. In a fantasy world like Tolkien’s Middle Earth I expect made-up names, or in a comedy, but not in Victorian England. I don’t think they fit in with the world he’s writing about. Maybe his names were intended as a juxtaposition to the bleak world he was describing, but for me it doesn’t work at all.
I’m no longer welcome here, am I? Thanks for having me…
February 9, 2018 at 1:49 pm #655418
Dickens is very difficult to read, but I think that’s due to the time period in which he lived and wrote. No modern writer would write in that style, certainly. I don’t re-read his works as often as I do modern novels, but when I do it’s with the understanding that I’m going to have to work a bit harder. 😉
This does illustrate why discussing “over-rated” writers is problematic, however.
February 9, 2018 at 5:41 pm #655419
I love Dickens and re-read his novels often. I first read Bleak House while in high school and loved it. I don’t find him difficult to read at all. And remember: his novels were the genre novels of the time. Readers couldn’t wait for the latest installment.
As for his characters’ names, clearly they’re meant for comic effect, but they also say something about the characters’ personalities. I love them. As a newspaper reporter, Dickens observed humanity with a keen eye. Someone once asked him why he exaggerated his characters’ idiosyncrasies to such a degree. His answer: “Exaggerate? Compared to the real people I observed, I toned them down!”
Clearly Dickens is not for everyone, but I love the fictional world he created.
February 10, 2018 at 2:27 am #655420
> Noizchild wrote:
> > E.L. James and Stephenie Meyer. Those count, right?
> I don’t think many people rate them highly, so probably not.
But they are quite popular for now.
February 10, 2018 at 5:15 am #655421
> I love Dickens and re-read his novels often.
I do love Dickens – but the last few years my concentration has gone downhill so I have to “prepare” myself, as it were. (Strangely, I don’t have that problem with my writing, just my reading. 😕 )
February 15, 2018 at 8:44 pm #655422
I have read about 2 chapters of 3 different Dicken’s novels. My husband loves Dickens. I am not a fan. Even Jane Austen is very challenging for me to read – I think I read about 2 pages before I forgot what the hell was going on an put the book down and moved on.
I’m a huge fan of young adult novels, because of pacing, magic and interesting characters. Not all YA novels are that way, and honestly, being a homeschooling mom of 3 boys means I don’t get a lot of downtime to “get into” a book. If you can’t entertain me or hook me in in the first two chapters, I’m out. I don’t have time for poor world building, crappy characters and info dumping word vomit.
That being said, my all time disliked novels are the Twilight series (I pulled them from our free little-library and shredded them) and the 50 Shades of Grey nonsense. (Don’t get me wrong, I’m not opposed to BDSM, I’m opposed to emotional abuse and men who don’t take consent seriously).
February 15, 2018 at 10:07 pm #655423
> Being successful isn’t always about being the best. Sometimes, it’s about
> being in tune with what the market wants.
> It’s sort of like Britney Spears. Not everyone likes her. Hell, a lot of
> people make fun of her. But she’s earned tens of millions of dollars being
> Britney Spears.
> If that’s overrated, or failure, I’ll take that.
> That’s why I rarely participate in these kinds of discussions. They’re not
> invalid. I just don’t feel that way.
I have to seriously agree with that. If you are asking a question more in line with authors we don’t like, I’d have to say Stephanie Meyers Twilight Series. I can’t do vampires, and juvenile writing. Made it in a page in and tossed it. Its all about peoples tastes, what works for one may not work for another. For me I could tell by how she wrote her voice/style that I wasn’t going to be interested.
February 16, 2018 at 12:18 am #655424
And of course, it depends on what the reader is in the mood for at any given time. I will read dang near anything, depending on available time and mood. My choice of genres may remain fairly constant, but it’s never been set in stone. And let’s be honest, every “good” writer has written some crap, and every “crap” writer has written some good.
February 22, 2018 at 11:23 am #655425
For me, it’s Michael Chabon.
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