Empty Promises

In today’s world, new books abound: some of them great, some not so great, and others downright unreadable. Of course, what books fall under these categories is highly subjective to the individual reader. I would, however, like to point out that even though books can be deemed “readable” it does not necessarily mean that they are written well or are even feasible. This is not in reference to science fiction or fantasy, but even regular fiction.

The major problem with today’s literature seems to be the amount of no-substance “fluff” getting published. Even though I am in my early twenties, I will still sometimes read young adult books. Now, just because these books are for young adults, does it mean that it is okay to create these implausibly badly written novels? Do youth of today have no standards? No, but some of the works that are out there for them are quite atrocious.

Flashy titles, pretty covers, and well-written blurbs may make these books seem appealing, but underneath all the glitz is, well, nothing. It is always a great letdown to read the blurbs, or back covers and then to sit down with a book that had such promising features to find out it is a dud. It is like the movie business where they put the best of the movie in the trailer, with books they put the best of it on the back cover. It is sad.

The great shame being that these books are produced by the major publishing houses. It seems rather ridiculous that some of the worst books published are sponsored by major presses. Yes, not every book believed to be good will make it, but to have so many being produced at such low quality, it is downright scary. What happened to the good days of good books for children, teenagers and adults? Harry Potter was at least a well-written series, unlike Eragon. No offense to Christopher Paolini, but that book was good in theory, but in reality not the best. I say kudos to young authors who are getting published, but should they be? Amelia Atwater Rhodes had some great books out before the age of 20 (she was first published at sixteen). Those books of hers didn’t make you cringe from their horribleness.

Being a voracious reader and a big fan of Anne McCaffrey’s Pern stories, I had high expectations for Eragon. I was let down. I finally understood what it meant when people said “authorial convenience.” Yes, there were times when the happenings of Eragon were just too convenient. What is the likelihood that in reality someone who knew everything about dragons would just so happen to live in the same town with the boy who managed to find the “last” dragon egg? I tried hard to like it, but in the end I could not. I didn’t even finish the book – which is actually quite rare for me. It is becoming increasingly difficult, however, for me to find a book that will keep me turning the pages.

I abhor skimming, I believe things should be read in entirety, but more and more lately I cannot find the patience to sit through reading a book cover to cover. What is happening to literature today?

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One thought on “Empty Promises

  1. …like when you ask a lit teacher, “what recent books do you think students will be studying in the future?” and then the teacher rambles off a list…and then you say, “well, why don’t we read those books NOW and call them literature NOW?”and then the teacher scoffs and says, “because they all suck. we’ll only be studying them out of desperation.”

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