Monday, 31 January 2011

Your Wall is Made of Holes

I start this post by admitting I wanted to title it - There's a Hole in Your Bucket - but I was kind of afraid that everyone would wonder why the content of the post was so different to the title.

After reading Anchored last week, it brought to mind something I'd read on one of the romance forums. (I have the feeling I may have posted about this before, so sorry if I'm repeating myself).

There was a discussion on this aforementioned board about a certain series, and someone posted that they'd really enjoyed the series and how solid the worldbuilding was, until they realized that the wall of this 'solid' worldbuilding was actually made of holes*. As soon as they realized this, they could no longer read the books because they no longer held together for them.

I think this is something different from 'jumping the shark', which is something that can happen very quickly:-

You read something in a story - OMG! - and the next sound you hear is the crash as the book hits the wall.

I think the 'wall made of holes' situation is something that can creep on you much more stealthily whilst you're reading. It can be a series of things that niggle at you and then just one too many tips you over the edge.

What's interesting is that those books which have jumped the shark for me - usually by killing off a character I was particularly attached to - I still have strong feelings (generally of hatred) for.

But the ones where I've realized that there's actually no substance holding them together for me - just complete apathy.

So has anyone out there had similar feelings about a book? Or are you more the 'I either love it or hate it type?'. I have a copy of Real Vampires Have Curves by Gerry Bartlett, to give away to one poster to this thread. Winner to be chosen by random number on Friday.

* - and I've realized whilst writing this post that hole is one of those words that if you say it more than five times, it loses all sense of meaning.


Sullivan McPig said...

For me it usually is a small thing that can throw me off.
For example:
the Vampire Chronicles of Anne Rice.
Loved those until I read Queen of the Damned where Armand suddenly had created progeny without it being explained, while in the book before that one there was a whole story why he had never done so. I quit reading the series after that.

LesleyW said...

Sullivan - I think once you realise the worldbuilding is not being stuck to, it becomes harder to believe in the world you're reading about.