All Due Respect…

Books and butterflies

Can you tell I’ve just binge-watched all 6 seasons of the Sopranos? Yep, I am now ready for The Many Saints of Newark (possibly this weekend), after which I will dump HBO. There are not enough good shows to justify the $15/month, especially when I am also paying for Prime.

Remember when we had only a few shows to choose from, yet they were high quality? Or maybe that’s just my old-person, rose-colored view. All due respect for the writers, directors, actors, et al, but almost everything available for streaming is crap. This is why I usually rewatch an old fave rather than start something new. I will let you know my opinion of Many Saints, but I don’t have high expectations because I was disappointed in El Camino, which came after another fabulous drama (Breaking Bad).

But actually I started this post to bitch about books, though I suppose I could wait until Monday. Eh, like I’ll ever run out of peeves! I read my 86th book for the year this week, and my gawd it sucked. I was hooked by the title ~ The Ghost Writer (by Alessandra Torre) ~ and dutifully trudged through to the end, but it was a chore. I reacted in a moment of extreme irritation by awarding it only one star.

I am calm now, but I’m still not upping the rating. The writing, though technically error-free, drove me nuts. To be brief, the story centered on a horrible protagonist, but not a semi-lovable horrible one like Tony Soprano. Helena was a self-centered, melodramatic monster, and there was nothing redeeming about her. The fact that her dead husband turned out to be more of a monster didn’t excuse any of Helena’s character flaws. She was simply a ghoul waiting to die.

The narrative was presented in that style I despise of half first-person, by someone who DIES, and half third-person. Why does this sh!t even pass editing? We all learned not to write “and then I died” back in third grade. It’s awful and disjointing to the reader. It’s also lazy, as if the author couldn’t decide how to tell the story, so she hedged by using first and third. PICK ONE, argh!

I also hate when a novel is unnecessarily mysterious. A detective story should be mysterious, since we are discovering clues along with the protag. But these books where the narrative keeps teasing us with a Big Secret, which the protag already knows, are just annoying. We keep getting allusions to “the thing,” but it’s too horrible to mention even though the protag is obsessed with it throughout. Every moment, every interaction is steeped in drama because of THE THING that we can’t know. The reason a writer does this, in my opinion, is because her story and characters aren’t strong enough alone, so she layers on a phony mystery. Ugh.

I am so tired of these crappy books.


Image from Happy Color.

©️2021 Paula Light and Light Motifs II. No unauthorized use permitted. Please check out Paula’s books for sale on Amazon. Thank you.

7 responses to “All Due Respect…

  1. I watched El Camino and it wasn’t that bad, but not the same intensity as Breaking Bad. I am watching Goliath on Prime now and I am really enjoying that.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I was disappointed by El Camino, too. I’m hoping for better things from The Many Saints of Newark.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I quit the streaming services back when I had to start buying Billie’s insulin on a pre-dissertator’s salary. When she passed I considered starting again, having just gotten the dissertator bump, but then the pandemic came and the jobs switched. Now I have time and a bigger check because I’m back to teaching and have 4-credit courses instead of 3-credit (paid by credit hour) but too busy and not interested enough. Also, Honey’s cancer and Miles’ hyperthyroidism sucked up a bunch of $$$.

    In fact, I’m proving your point about older shows. I’ve gotten files of classics that I saw as a kid or maybe never watched, and seeing them with adult eyes. I’ve really been enjoying The Saint w/ Roger Moore lately. Good stories and you never know who you’ll see. Last night I watched one with Jane Asher..remember the micro-kerfuffle about HER? Also digging Barney Miller, Alfred Hitchcock Presents, Gunsmoke, Have Gun Will Travel (basically the same show as The Saint except Paladin might present a bill) and, while I never dreamed that I would actually say this, Green Acres was a pretty clever show. And Hogan’s Heroes was dumb but FUNNY, and that’s what counts. Did you know that in the EARLY EARLY days of the Dick Van Dyke show, the office coffee was delivered by Jamie Farr? I about fell off the couch.

    Also been watching some old show about some blonde with an eye problem that makes her blink a lot. Forget the name.

    Liked by 2 people

  4. I’m wondering if mixed narrator voices is a current trend in writing, or just the result of modern technology allowing more self-publishing.

    Liked by 1 person

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